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Yemen: Is Peace Possible?
Yemen: Is Peace Possible?

Yemen: Is Peace Possible?

A year after the start of the Yemen war, April Longley Alley, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula, describes how she sees no end to the conflict in sight. In discussion with Hugh Pope, Director of Communications and Outreach, she outlines the main findings of the 9 February report Yemen, Is Peace Possible?, assessing in detail the local parties to the conflict, the fears of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s “shoestring” role, and the country’s often-overlooked humanitarian emergency.

In this podcast, Crisis Group's April Longley Alley outlines the findings of our latest Yemen report, assessing the belligerents, Saudi concerns, Iran’s “shoestring” role, and the humanitarian emergency. CRISIS GROUP

How to End the War in Yemen

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Since the September attack on Saudi oil facilities, Riyadh and the Houthis have taken a step back from all-out war. All parties, including the United States, should seize this rare opportunity to resolve the conflict.

With all of U.S. President Donald Trump’s troubles at home and abroad, his administration could use a win. There is low-hanging fruit in Yemen, and the ripple effects of success there could go far beyond the impoverished and war-torn country. Houthi rebels (who prefer to be called Ansar Allah) have made an offer of de-escalation that, if built on quickly, could help extract the United States from the bloody and unwinnable war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. It would reduce threats to Saudi Arabia and its oil infrastructure at a time of rising tensions with Iran. And it would open a door to wider de-escalation inside Yemen and possibly across the region. 

On Sept. 20, the Houthis—who control northwestern Yemen and have been at war with a variety of Yemeni groups backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2015— announced a unilateral suspension of strikes on Saudi Arabia. In return, they asked for a halt to Saudi airstrikes and a lifting of restrictions on access to northern Yemen. 

They did this on the heels of claiming the Sept. 14 attacks against Saudi Aramco oil facilities, a claim that few believe and which has bound the group closer than ever to Iran in the eyes of its opponents. While the Houthis routinely fire missiles and send drones into Saudi territory, experts say the sophistication of the swarm attack points to Iran. According to Saudi and U.S. officials, the direction of the attack was from the north, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Read the full article on the website of  Foreign Policy.