Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iran | Middle East | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Yemen | civil

Mideast Expert: Yemen in Full-Scale Civil War

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2015 07:42 PM

Once hailed by the Obama administration as a model Middle East partner, the Persian Gulf nation of Yemen has slid into outright civil war, and there is no defining away the reality on the ground, says a veteran analyst and writer on global politics.

"Yes, there is a civil war in Yemen," Ahmed Fathi, who covers foreign affairs and economics for the Associated Press and other news outlets, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

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President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was forced from the capital, Sana'a, by an earlier rebel offensive, has fled his fallback refuge in Aden, a strategically vital port city along a major oil shipping route.  Houthi rebels backed by Iran have seized Aden's airport, according to reports on Wednesday.

"This is quite a turning point, his disappearance," Fathi said of Yemen's president. But don't be surprised if Hadi has left the country altogether and turns up in Cairo at this week's Arab nations summit, said Fathi.

Yemen's foreign minister is already pleading for allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt to send in a military force to restore order.

The question, said Fathi, is whether a Saudi-led coalition fighting for the Yemeni government would come into conflict — indirectly or directly — with Iran, which has denied it is supplying arms to the Houthis, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

"There are ships reported — they're unloading tons of hardware heading to the Houthis," said Fathi.

He doubted, however, that all-out conflict in Yemen will erupt between the two pre-eminent, rival powers in the Middle East, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran — but he said that if it did, "it would be a mega-disaster."

Saudi Arabia is massing troops on its border with Yemen — but to contain the fallout, not to prepare for an invasion, said Fathi.

"They're acting within their legitimate right, inside their borders, to protect it now that their southern neighbor is going through this turmoil," he said.

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Once hailed by the Obama administration as a model Middle East partner, the Persian Gulf nation of Yemen has slid into outright civil war, and there is no defining away the reality on the ground, says a veteran analyst and writer on global politics.
Yemen, civil, war, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
365
2015-42-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 07:42 PM
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