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Conflict in Yemen

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by Muukalainen, Apr 6, 2015.

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  1. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Realistically, the U.S. will tolerate ISIS as long as they and their NATO allies continue to rule out "boots on the ground" which politically is just about impossible to do for most players. Perhaps some new mega atrocity by ISIS might change this fact.

    As far Saudis and UAE endurance in occupying Yemen, I don't think they are up to the long haul and are likely already appealing to the U.S. and others.
     
  2. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    Oil infrastructure? Saudi oilfields are on the other side of the country, 1000 km from the fighting. Pipelines to transport oil are also a very long way from the border. If the Houthis were able to launch cross-border raids on Saudi oil infrastructure, they'd be threatening the existence of the country. They'd be near the main Saudi cities.
     
  3. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    I should have been more precise in my definition of excursion. The excursions would be terrorist plots, not raids. If the Houthis are able to control Yemen like the Taliban did with Afghanistan pre-9/11 then it will a large terrorist training hub assuming the Iranians want that to happen which is likely.
     
  4. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    But the Iranians could train terrorists in Iran more easily. Plenty of space, plenty of Arabic speakers, & much better security than attainable in Yemen.
     
  5. GermanHerman

    GermanHerman Member

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    Considering that in the past Iran tryed multiple timey to put pressure on Saudi Arabia or the West by threatening to blockade the strait of Hormuz I would considering control ofer the Gulf of Aden also a vital goal in this.

    International and trade wise speaking this is the by far more important node.

    Towards the concerns of terrorism I think Saudi Arabia is most likely worried about the cold war they are waging with Iran to come and back and bite them where the sun don't shine.

    Saudi Arabia has supported and is supporting some of the most horrible suni terrorist groups (like currently ISIS) in order to weaken the shia world and it surely is rightfully afraid of retaliation, they can't tolerate a shia neighbor that escapes their direct control.

    It's gonna be interesting to see how Saudi Arabia is going to deal with the backlash of their politics.
     
  6. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Active Member

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  7. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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  8. peterAustralia

    peterAustralia Member

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    Now Islamic State have attacked UAE troops in Aden hotel via suicide bombers.

    What a mess, we have al-quaeda in the arabian peninsula, AQAP
    we have Islamic State
    We have the Houthis
    We have the Saudis
    We have the UAE forces
    we have the other yemeni - former govt forces (non Houthi)

    depends on who is doing the talking, the Houthis are rebels, or the Houthis are government forces, gets confusing sometimes

    So AQAP is fighting IS, and the Houthis
    IS is fighting AQAP, UAE troops and the Houthis
    The Houthis are fighting everyone
    the Saudis and UAE are fighting everyone except the former govt non-houthi forces.
    Before the Houthis arrived on the seen it was the then govt fighting AQAP, is AQAP still fighting the former govt, or does it depend on the which day it is

    Does anyone really pretend to understand this mess. I know Iran were/are arming the Houthis, now the UAE, Saudi Arabia and to some extent Egypt are supporting and or fighting against the Houthis

    So Saudi Arabia is supporting Islamic State in Syria, get Islamic State is now attacking Saudi Arabia in Yemen? Have I got that right?

    Where did it all go wrong? a few years ago there was no real fighting in Yemen, and western tourists could visit most places with ease, now its a complete f** up. Was it the killing of the Houthi leader by the then govt, was it poor administration, was it sectarian, is this a Shia/Sunni thing, is this a tribal war? was in AQAP coming into Yemen, was it american drone strikes against AQAP? Is it northern Yemenis fighting southern Yemenis?

    Was it a high birth rate and limited water sources. was it a failed economy, was it a failed state before hand, was it poverty, was it outside interference, or is is very very very complex.

    I still cant figure out why Saudi Arabia decided to get involved in this mess. My guess is before too long they will be regretting it big time. Note that Yemen has a population just a fraction less that of Saudi, thus opponents of the Saudi and UAE forces, thus if a fair fraction on the Yemen population decide to attack the Saudis, they could expect thousands of new recruits year in and year out.

    Plus the anti-Saudi forces seem quite well armed, with missiles, rocket launchers, sophisticated anti tank missiles, anti aircraft missiles, equipment that the Taliban could just dream about. Will it be possible to stop resupply of Houthi forces by Iran, that would mean inspecting every dhow that sails past, or having to rely on very very good intelligence.

    What will happen if Iranian Qods forces arrive in Yemen and start offering assistance, assuming they have not done so already

    man, I cant figure it out, whats wrong with me
     
  9. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is wrong with you. The situation is a complete fluster cuck which by nature is pretty much unfathomable. I guess this BS will get sorted at some point. Not sure if anyone will be happy when it does get sorted however.
     
  10. Goknub

    Goknub Member

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    While it might be a bit of a long bow to draw and I usually find it cheap to blame the Yanks for everyones ills, this could be seen as a reaction to their actions.

    I see two things that could have spurred the Saudis to act.

    Firstly, the US turned on Mubarak in Egypt when the Arab Spring kicked off. The Saudis may conclude the US would do the same to them if the situation allowed it. They must know the Yanks aren't all that keen on them, between their human rights record and their support of Wahbi/terrorist groups.

    Secondly, the Yanks have made it pretty clear they aren't looking to putting boots on ground in any large way. If the Saudis want something done they'll need to do it themselves. Especially now that Iran and the West are (sort of) on the same side as Iran fighting against ISIS in Iraq.

    It's fun seeing how the whole place reacts to random unconnected events.
     
  11. peterAustralia

    peterAustralia Member

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    Has anyone else noted this shift in general news coverage regarding Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    A few years ago (say 3 or 4), Iran was almost deemed to be enemy number one and there was a lot of talk of bombing it. Saudi Arabia was stilled deemed as pro-western and a good guy. Now mainstream media is coming out very much against Saudi Arabia and much more amenable to Iran.

    How on earth did all that happen, how did the good guy become the bad guy, and the bad guy the good guy.

    I know its all relative, Iran still has a repressive government that sponsors terrorists, imprisons people without trial, and was killing unarmed protesters even quite recently. Saudi Arabia has had an awful human rights record for decades, however a few years ago, it was almost as though it was deemed not the done thing to talk about it. The reality is grey of course,,,, neither was or is completely wonderful, nor completely awful

    Its all gone 180, now Iran is almost a good guy, there seems an acceptance of the Taliban in some sort of way, be that very very grudgingly, Assad in Syria has gone from awful to bad but not as bad as the other guys, Turkey is in the bad books vs a potential EU member it was thought of a few years ago.

    Hezbollah has deemed a massive threat a few years ago, now no one seems to care (Israel excepted of course). Israel seems to have lost quite a bit of its soft power and political influence. The west seems to miss the stability that Gadaffi had in Libya, and might almost regret it's actions in the assisting of his toppling.

    Seems to me mainstream media has done a complete 180 on perception of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Now Iran is almost seen as the new hip tourist destination and a huge potential trading partner.

    The rise of Iran, in terms of soft power in the last 10 years or so has been very startling. If sanctions get lifted more and more, they should be able to buy much more advanced weapon systems from Russia and maybe Europe, that is going to annoy the gulf states and Israel big time. Israel seems to have lost a lot of influence and Iran seems to have gained a large amount of influence
     
  12. GermanHerman

    GermanHerman Member

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    I think this is rooted somewhere in the shift of US foreign politics. The Democrats where never as keen to act on the iranien situation as the right wing of the Republicans and Obama especially entered office with the promiss of a more peacefull presidency.

    I'm far from beeing informed enough on the economical and political innerwokrs of the US but somewhere between the energy independence (or proclaimed independence? Anyone has some insight in how far the Oil Reserves of the US are actually sufficiant for such a claim) and an puplic that seemed more and more tired of an decade long war it became unpopular and thatfor politicaly unwise to continue the course of action the US had chosen before and so other interests emerged and gained some momentum.

    I think the media just follows the general vibe on some topics as they get it passed on by theire sources in politics and propably half of them are working for some Lobby's.
     
  13. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    @peterAustralia....some merit in your observation about changing attitudes concerning Iran and Saudi Arabia. If the Iranians can rid themselves of their theocracy I think Iran has some real chances at becoming a valuable partner in the world. Saudi Arabia on the other hand will likely go from awful to horrible should the House of Saud fall.
     
  14. Blackshoe

    Blackshoe Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Which means we should be seeing moves to rename the switch the name of the Arabian Gulf back any day now.

    If I wanted to be conspiratorial, I'd note the country one of the President's critical advisors was born in as a reason for the change.
     
  15. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Active Member

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    Saudi Patriots deployed for base protection in Yemen

    Key Points
    The Arab coalition has deployed two Patriot fire units to defend its base in Yemen's Marib province
    The deployment corroborates claims that the base was hit by a ballistic missile on 4 September
    The Arab coalition fighting to reinstall Yemen's ousted president has deployed Patriot air-defence systems to defend its forward operating base in Marib province, satellite imagery from Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed.

    The imagery from 1 October shows two Patriot fire units, each with an AN/MPQ-53/65 radar and just two launchers, at either end of the airstrip at the Safir refinery in Marib. Six AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, two UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, and one CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter can be seen on the airstrip.






    Arab coalition deploys Patriot to Yemen - IHS Jane's 360
     
  16. peterAustralia

    peterAustralia Member

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    Some new stuff, well new to me at least

    Yemen was divided into north Yemen and south Yemen until 1990. (my memory of that time in regards to Yemen escaped me) There are religious and cultural differences between the two, (north and south). In days of empire south Yemen was a British protectorate, whereas North Yemen was under Ottoman control. Why north and south unified in 1990 I dont know.

    The Houthis have captured at least 1 Leclerc mbt. I dont know if it just broke down and the crew bugged out. There is damage to the back, so maybe it was immobilized by an RPG/missile and the crew decided to abandon it. I guess all the secrets of its technology are at risk of being photographed and disseminated to non western states, assuming they did not know everything already

    Egypt has sent 2000 troops to Yemen.

    The Saudis have recruited 7000 Somalis to fight for them. Why I dont know, possibly they have a lot of money and would prefer Somali casualties over Saudi. I doubt these Somali troops are likely to be highly trained or motivated, just possibly they were motivated by a lot of cash

    In Yemen, at least 6000 people have died in the war so far, roughly half civilian and roughly half Houthi. The anti Saudi feeling in the nation is not going to bode well for continual Saudi occupation, hearts and minds and all that

    The Houthis have advanced approximately 10km north into Saudi Arabia and are closing in on the Saudi town of Jizin. Whether or not they are strong enough, or have intent to take it, is most problematic

    The GCC has lost at least 55 armored vehicles. Casualties at least 150 KIA. Possibly a lot more, but the GCC (Saudis) is not releasing the figures. The 150 seems low to me, there were 70 killed alone in one ballistic missile strike. My guess is that is would have to be a few hundred by know.

    The GCC has had four Apaches shot down. Add to that another four Apaches destroyed in the ballistic missile strike that killed 70 GCC soldiers.

    Sometimes it is the Hadis (South Yemenis) that are using Saudi supplied armoured vehicles that get shot up, possibly confusing things.

    The GCC seems relatively inept it its tactics, there seems a lack of infantry to protect the armoured vehicles. Or a lack of infantry that are willing to told to leave their armoured vehicles.

    Dengue fever and famine are now starting to be big problems in Yemen. Dengue fever has already killed a dozen or so people, with the potential for it to get worse.

    Even if all the air power, all the tanks, all the billions of dollars does leave the GCC in apparent control of all of Yemen, seems reasonable to assume that the Houthis and a large portion of the populace will start a guerrilla campaign and I dont see that ending well for the GCC.

    In other discussion forums there is not a lot of sympathy for the Saudi position. It is plausible that a Houthi regime which had Iranian influence could theoretically be a cause of instability to the region by attacking oil tankers and launching raids into Saudi Arabia. My handle on this, is that why would they do so, it will only garner them more enemies. Theoretically in the straits between Yemen and Africa were closed to oil tankers, they could still go around south africa, a very large annoyance it is true, but not the end to the survivability of the gulf states

    There seems to be some thought to a ceasefire/peace agreement along the lines of the line of control. The line of control seems to quite closely match the pre 1990 borders of North Yemen. So possibly it may be best to say the experiment of joining north and south Yemen has not been successful and partition as a long term solution is a better option

    Some links
    Egypt sends troops and tanks to battle Houthis in Yemen | The Times of Israel

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-17Dct65gb...40/Houthis+with+captured+UAE+Leclerc+tank.jpg

    Mapping the Yemen conflict | European Council on Foreign Relations
     
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  17. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Active Member

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    Saudi Patriots deployed for base protection in Yemen

    All true
    The GCC is getting beaten back by armed thugs much like the Iraqis are. Doesn't lend alot of confidence in the cabalities of the Western armed GCC forces.
    I know the Saudis send infantry officers to Ft Benning for schooling, I worked with one of their CPTs. Generally clueless and unmotivated so I won't deny its a general issues of lacking leadership and tactics.
    They perhaps would be better off paying for so brigades of experienced soldiers to go take care of this for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  18. ATA-Türk

    ATA-Türk Banned Member

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  19. peterAustralia

    peterAustralia Member

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    Hi Ata-Turk

    I personally prefer the term insurgents or armed force over the term terrorists. Trying to work out which armed group has a legitimate claim, and which is spurious gets very hard.

    Example, in South Sudan, the Dinka are fighting the Nuer. Are the Nuer terrorists, and the Dinka super wonderful to the last person; or perhaps is it tribal, ethnic tensions in that nation.

    In Mali the Christian government is fighting Muslim Tuareg rebels. Are the Tuareg rebels, or terrorists. Same in Nigeria, with the majority government fighting Muslims in the North and separatists in the east (Biafra). Well Biafra wanted to be an independent nation, but they lost the war and now they fight what they see is the majority population stealing their oil, and destroying their homeland via oil leaks.

    In Algeria, the French were fighting rebels to gain independence. Were the rebels terrorists, or were they a group with perhaps legitimate grievances? What right did France have to invade Algeria, I guess they did it because they could and maybe things were different back then.

    In Vietnam, the Viet Cong fought the french, then they won? So are the Viet Cong terrorists, or are they the legitimate and recognised government of Vietnam

    And so on and so on.

    In Syria, the SAA defines anyone who fights against them as terrorists. Of course a few years ago there were non violent protests for democracy, and Assad replied by killing unarmed protesters.

    IMHO the term terrorist should be used for groups that overwhelming target civilians, bombing shopping centers, railway stations etc. IMHO an armed group that simply wants independence for its people and freedom from invasion are IMHO a different thing. Whether or not they are justified in fighting, things start to get very grey and its hard to make absolute judgements

    The Houthi's has there own nation state until 1990, and before that were part of the Ottoman sphere of influence. What right does Saudi Arabia have to invade them. Do they have the right to self rule. The Palestinians fighting the Israels are termed terrorists by the Israelis, possibly they are upset about what they see as their land being taken away from them. Note that Israel starting using the term terrorist after 2001, before that they were militants.

    Were the fighters against the US in Iraq terrorists or insurgents? John Howard (ex Australian prime minister) wanted to call them terrorists, but most of the media used the term militants or insurgents. Are the Taliban terrorists, or independence fighters?

    Groups like the IRA, ETA etc I think are more properly defined as terrorists.

    I cant tell from your tone whether you are being sarcastic or not. You may be Sunni and dont like the Shia (guess), for me I want people of all races, religions, to live in peace (yes I know I am dreaming and am being totally naive). I dont want Shia people killed, and I dont want Sunni people killed.
     
  20. ATA-Türk

    ATA-Türk Banned Member

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