Yemen: The Vietnam of Today

By Henry G.


Yemen has been in a civil war for more than four years over who will be the leader of the country. 50,000 have starved due to the famine caused by this civil war. However, it shows no sign of stopping. Despite what it may seem, the conflict in Yemen is not a war between Yemen and their rebels, but merely a new battlefield for the conflict between Iran and Saudi-Arabia.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars all over the middle east. A proxy war is a conflict between two large powers in a country besides their own. The Saudi-Iranian proxy wars are due to their ideological differences. Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni state while Iran is a Shi’ite state. They have been competing for control over the middle east.

Their most recent battle location is the nation of Yemen. Saudi Arabia is supporting the democratically elected government of Yemen, the Hadi government. They are fighting the religious rebellion, the Houthis, supported by Iran.

The Houthis rose up after a failed political transition of power from Ali Abdullah Saleh to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. The Houthis took advantage of the new president’s weakness and were able to seize lands in northern Yemen. Saudi Arabia, concerned with their movements, began launching airstrikes in the area. Saudi Arabia is supported by the US with intelligence and logistical support. The conflict escalated when Iran began supporting the Houthis.

While there is no solution to the conflict in Yemen, the UN is working to de-escalate the conflict. Saudi Arabia and Iran will likely continue this conflict similar to our own cold war until one of them is seen as a victor.

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