Why the Economic and Political Crisis in Yemen Matters

FILE – In this April, 13, 2017 file photo, Yemenis present documents in order to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen. Speaking to The Associated Press by telephone from Sanaa, the head of the World Food Program, Stephen Anderson, warned Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, that millions of Yemenis are at risk and will face more deaths as the humanitarian situation deteriorates and deliveries remain blocked from getting to those most needy. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

Renewed fighting in Yemen is drawing attention to one of the more underreported humanitarian crises in the world.

Headlines go back and forth over the latest side to control the seaports of Aden and Hodeidah. Daniel Hoffman of Middle East Concern explains, in simple terms, the conflict that’s tearing this small country apart.

Making sense of the senseless

First, “The current broader war started in 2015, when the Houthis, a Shia, armed, religious, political group took over much of the country from the interim government at that time.” The Saudi (Sunni) intervened and led a coalition supporting the internationally recognized government to defeat the Houthis.

 It didn’t stop there.

The newest fighting is within the forces fighting against the Houthis—which would, in theory, support the internationally recognized government. However, notes Hoffman, “Forces loyal to the interim president, and the forces of the Southern Transitional Council are fighting each other. They are both supported by different international backers of the international coalition that is supposed to fight the Houthis and not each other.”

Add in another layer of proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the illusion of peace throughout the Middle East threatens to disappear.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama