Oriental studies


The following article considers the origins, external and internal factors of the modern crisis in Yemen. It is particularly noted that one of the reasons that Yemen has always been the arena for a clash of interests of the powers due to its strategic position on the sea route connecting Europe with the Indian ocean. It describes in detail how, along with the external threat, North and South Yemen in the second half of the XXth century was torn by internal contradictions. It is noted that after the integration of Yemen in 1990, opposition intensified its activities against the conditions of unification, which led to a new civil war. The article has a strong focus on the fact that in Yemen in the end of twentieth century political factor has been supplemented by religious factor, i.e., the confrontation escalated between the northerners Shia zaidis and the South Sunni. Attention is drawn to the fact that the spread of Wahhabism in Yemen as an ideological and political force, the creation of "al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula" has further aggravated the explosive situation in the country. The analysis of the process of transformation of the theological movement of the Houthis-zaidis into a military-political force, which managed in the Wake of the "Arab spring" and in Alliance with the supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, not only to seize power in Sana'a in January 2015, but also to expand its position up to Aden. The particular emphasis has been placed on the fact that since March 2015 the conflict in Yemen has acquired an international character, when the Saudi coalition (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan and UAE, Egypt) sided with the President in the exile of Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi and forced the Houthis to retreat from Aden and Bab El-Mandeb Strait by force of arms. It is noted what changes have occurred in the US policy towards the support of the Saudi coalition in recent years. The role of Iran in Yemen and the nature of its relations with the Houthis cause disputes between researchers. Based on the analysis of recent events, it is concluded that the military actions of the Saudi coalition can lead to the elimination of Yemen as a state. The ongoing armed conflict and the futility of attempts at a political solution make the possibility of a peaceful settlement in Yemen problematical.

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