By Heydar Soheyli Isfahani

Russia’s role in Yemen conflict

August 21, 2016

Russia’s official recognition of Yemen’s “Supreme Political Council”, which is comprised of a coalition between the Ansarullah (Houthi) movement and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress Party, was a major blow to the House of Saud and Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who claims to be the Yemeni president. 

There were a lot of evidence that Moscow’s approach on Yemen was changing and the House of Saud and its allies were hoping to persuade Russians to at least keep silent; in other words the Saudis tried to buy their silence.  

However many political analysts, by considering new facts on the battle ground which is turning in favor of the Yemeni army and to the loss of forces loyal to Mansur Hadi, were expecting such a reaction from Russia. In addition, and in an effort to tempt the Russians, Adel al-Jubeir, the young foreign minister of the House of Saud, said Russia has to have a bigger share in the Middle East. His remarks were a glimpse that Saudi Arabia was somehow expecting a change in its relations with Russia, mush worse than before.   

However, it seems that the Saudi officials are very much worried about a political disaster in their foreign policy, this time very close to them: neighboring Yemen. The Saudis wished to make the situation better by using their only political tool in foreign policy, spending money.  

Will the situation in Yemen change and to what extent? Is Russia really prepared to repeat its policies regarding Syria also in Yemen? It doesn’t seem so! The so-called coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia fighting Yemen were already in quagmire in Yemen and there is not any intention on the side of the Yemeni army and its paramilitary allies to set foot on the southern tip of the country which was an independent state until 1990.

Can one say the continuation of the current trend in Yemen may impose the disintegration of Yemen to the two sides of the conflict? There are plenty of evidence in this regard and the fact that a deadlock in the Yemeni crisis may also help.

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