search.noResults

search.searching

saml.title
dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
Regional focus War without end


With President Biden’s campaign pledge to halt US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and reopen negotiations with Iran, there was reason to think that an end to the civil war in Yemen could be within reach. Nicholas Kenny speaks to Dr Sanam Vakil, senior research fellow and deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, and Michael Knights, fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, to find out how the new US administration has shifted the balance of the war.


n 30 December 2020, an aircraft touched down on the tarmac of Aden International Airport in south-west Yemen, carrying representatives from the newly elected Yemeni government. This journey, ostensibly, was made in the name of peace – an attempt at reconciliation between the Yemeni government under President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), supported by the UAE. As the passengers disembarked, they must have felt that an end to at least part of the conflict was achievable, in a war that had been raging since 2015. In August 2019, the STC had seized control of Aden, and it went on to declare self-rule in southern Yemen the following April. This declaration was rescinded three months later, and the Hadi government and the STC agreed to a power-sharing deal with equal representation in the 24-member Cabinet. This trip, then, was in some ways a victory tour – the final seal on this alliance. However, this made it a prime target for the other key player in this conflict – the Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, who occupy the capital of Sanaa and much of north- western Yemen.


O


As the crowd gathered on the tarmac to welcome the visiting ministers, three mortar shells landed on the runway, leaving 28 people dead and 107 others injured. And after the smoke cleared, and the injured and dead were taken away, peace seemed as distant as it had ever been.


In the wake of the attack, the Trump administration announced its intention to formally designate the Houthi forces as a terrorist organisation. This went into effect on 19 January 2021, a day before the president left office. The Biden administration quickly made clear that it had a very different set of objectives than its predecessor, ending offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia on 4 February and going on to revoke the Houthi terrorist designation a few days later. “I think there has been sort of a bipartisan shift in the US policy establishment. One that is more critical that the war has not accomplished its goals to eradicate terrorism or to address the growing influence of Iran in Yemen,” says Dr Sanam Vakil, senior research fellow and deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. On top of this, of course, we’ve witnessed a growing humanitarian crisis made worse by the pandemic.”


10


Defence & Security Systems International / www.defence-and-security.com


FEDELE FERRARA; akramalrasny/Shutterstock.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77