Yemen Crisis

Yemen Crisis

Yemen raises prospect of truce

The United Nations has been pushing for a halt to the air strikes and fighting that have killed nearly 3,000 people in Yemen since March when the Saudi-led coalition intervened against the Iranian-backed Houthi forces to try to restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.


The Houthis have also signaled readiness to honor a truce.

Yemen Crisis

By sea, by air, by rail: India pulls off the Operation Rahat

  1. Codenamed Operation Raahat, the mission was launched in the last week of March to bring back Indians from war-torn Yemen. Raahat means relief in Hindi.
  2. India sought Saudi Arabia’s permission to conduct aerial sorties to Yemen’s largest city of Sana’a on a daily basis.
  3. INS Mumbai—a missile destroyer—and two other vessels, including war ship INS Tarkash and INS Sumitra were sent to Yemen last week.
  4. 23 other nations have reached out to India to help in evacuating their citizens.

Yemen Crisis

Yemen crisis: Who are the main actors?

  1. The main fight is between the president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi & Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis.
  2. Mr. Hadi is also supported in the predominantly Sunni south of the country.
  3. Both President Hadi and the Houthis are opposed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
  4. Further complications? After rebel forces closed in on the president’s southern stronghold of Aden, Saudi Arabia came in to support the president Hadi.
  5. The Shia-ruled Iran (allegedly) came in support of the Houthi rebels and upped the ante!
Yemen Crisis

The Arab Spring and Yemen’s onwards journey

  1. Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen rallied against its 3-decades-old rule of President Saleh. He stepped down.
  2. But the transitional govt. & Houthi rebels remained at loggerheads & in september 2014, Houthi rebels swept into Sanaa and seized control of the capital.

Yemen Crisis

Why does Yemen crisis matter to the rest of the world?

  1. The conflict between the Houthis and the elected government is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.
  2. Yemen is strategically important because it sits on the Bab al-Mandab strait, a narrow waterway linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden.
  3. Through this strait, much of the world’s oil shipments pass. Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear a Houthi takeover would threaten free passage through the strait.
Yemen Crisis

Why is Yemen so unstable?

  1. For much of the 20th Century, Yemen existed as 2 separate countries – the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) in the north & the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) in the south.
  2. In 1990, the countries chose to unify and create the Republic of Yemen.
  3. Soon there were issues of weak governance, corruption, resource depletion and poor infrastructure & the southerners fought an unsuccessful civil war in 1994 to reverse the unification.

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