Yemen in the spotlight as a move by the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia: analysis

Iran’s media has a message on Yemen: Saudi Arabia is pulling out. That’s what Fars News said this weekend. Yemeni sources added that the Saudi coalition had withdrawn all its forces from the west coast of Yemen, including Tariq Saleh (an ally of the United Arab Emirates) and Oluwiya al-Amalqa. [who went to to Aden]. Yemen has won. “What the Iranians mean is that the Houthi rebels they back have won.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as other countries they work with, intervened in Yemen in 2015. Iran increased its support for the Houthis to bog down the Saudis. The Houthis now use advanced Iranian drones and missiles against Riyadh. The UAE and Riyadh no longer agree with Yemen’s policy. The Houthis have been on the march. The United States had opposed the Houthis during the Obama and Trump years, but now the Biden administration has tried to reduce the conflict. Yet even the Biden administration is now angry at the Houthis for kidnapping the staff of the US embassy in Sana’a. The UN has blacklisted more Houthi leaders.

Iranian media say the Houthis have recently advanced hundreds of kilometers along the coast. “The report comes as the Yemeni media reported that a countdown to the liberation of Ma’rib province had started after the Yemeni army and people’s committees made significant progress,” says Fars. Meanwhile, Iran is also signaling an opening to discussions with Saudi Arabia. Those talks could involve Yemen. In 2019, Iran launched a drone and cruise missile attack against Saudi Arabia. This was a warning that Iran could do worse in the future.

The Houthis are clearly pushing their luck, hoping to make a profit in Hodeidah and Marib. The Saudi-led Coalition has denied reports of a pullout. However, conflicting reports say there was a withdrawal around the port city of Hodeidah. According to Arab News, “The Yemeni Joint Forces on the west coast of the country announced on Friday a withdrawal from several liberated districts in Hodeidah province, including areas in Hodeidah city.” This means that there appears to have been a rim collapseThe Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, which houses the IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, on May 24, 2021 (credit: LISI NIESNER / REUTERS).und the key city. There has been a truce that allows these forces to withdraw.

“Our religious and patriotic duty urges us to defend more important fronts where we can exploit insufficient defenses,” the forces said in a statement, stating that the Stockholm agreement restricted the forces and prevented them from taking control of the city of Hodeidah.

Meanwhile, Tim Lenderking, US envoy for Yemen; and Cathy Westley, ChargĂ© d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Yemen, met with Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Saeed, Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak and Aden Governor Ahmed Lamlas. “Now is the time for all Yemenis to come together to end this war and enact bold reforms to revive the economy, counter corruption and alleviate suffering,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Yemen is now in the spotlight. Once again, Iran thinks it thinks it is winning. A setback for Saudi Arabia on either of the front lines in Yemen will not be good news in Riyadh and it will appear that Iran is empowered. If Saudi Arabia can start talks with Iran, it will face an uphill fight because Iran believes it is winning.

Meanwhile, the UAE has increased openness with the Assad regime in Damascus. It’s unclear how that could relate to Iran seeking profit in Yemen, but the entire region is generally connected in terms of how these policies play out.

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