Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Yemen Stalemate – Half a decade and another unwinnable war

Aden - Steamer Point, Yemen

Victory seemed imminent when coalition led by Saudi Arabia and UAE started bombarding Yemen - a tiny country without any oil in the middle east. Coalition was impressive – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and several non-state actors and army of Academi (of Blackwater fame). US provided intelligence, logistical support and sold millions of dollars’ worth of weapon packages to coalition. Saudi and UAE got information from drones bought from China and operated by Chinese contractors, intelligence came from US drones as well. However, so far Yemen seemed to be the graveyard of coalition’s ego. Now after five years, coalition is looking forward for a graceful exit!!!

If we go back in history, Yemen was in a state of war for some time and unfortunately going to be in a state of war for foreseeable future. Former government of Yemen headed by Ali Abdulla Saleh fought and lost six wars against Houthi’s of Yemen. Houthi's took over of Sana'a in 2014 and proceeded towards Aden. It was the possible fall of Aden which prompted an invasion in March 2014.

Whether anyone was able to win or loss; war wrecked whatever left of that poor country. Inaccurate bombings led of deaths of hundreds of civilians. Even if coalition was able to exit someway, suffering is not going to end. This poor country without any natural resources, sitting at the edge of one of the richest geographical area in earth is looking forward for another possible civil war.


Aden has/had the potential to become Singapore of Middle east. She occupies a crucial position in the shipping routes between Europe to India. It was once ruled by Portuguese, then by Ottoman empire. From the end of 1830 Aden came under the control of British East India company and later under British India. After one century later, in 1937, Aden was separated from British India and became a crown colony. Independence movements forced Britain to give independence Yemen and final detachment of royal marines of UK left the city in 1967 (after 128 years). To an extend Eden' history was like that of Singapore or Hongkong. Unfortunately, similarity ends there. Aden is not going to be Singapore of east any time soon. 


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