SANA’A – The past two weeks have seen Yemen‘s Houthis launch fresh attacks on the United Arab Emirates; seven years since the war started. The war seems unlikely to end anytime soon, according to a researcher.
Speaking to Salaamedia, Senior Research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogue Thembisa Ebrahim Fakude said that it is unlikely that any new Arab country would get involved in the war as most of them have been involved from the start.
“When the war started, in 2015, it involved a number of countries. The Saudi-led coalition invited other Arab countries to join in the fight in Yemen – that included Sudan, Bahrain, and the UAE in particular. It is already involving other stakeholders in the region.”
What is important to note, however, is that Iran is on the side of Yemen, said Fakude.
“The most important thing to note is that it has also invited the involvement of Iran in the fight in Yemen because Iran’s expression of expansion is programmed, it’s always been that of supporting smaller parties within various countries in order for them to further their foreign policy and interest in those countries. Yemen was one of those countries.”
“We know that, in Lebanon, Iran works with Hezbollah and even there Iran has continued to create instability. In Syria, Iran was also involved in supporting the regime of Bashar Al- Assad. It’s doing the same at the moment in Iraq. The war in Yemen is likely to continue and is likely to involve various stakeholders including various countries in the Middle East.”
Fakude said the UAE has not responded directly, but attacks have been launched using their “proxy” Saudi Arabia.
“There’s already been a repercussion. Saudi Arabia swiftly responded a day before yesterday with rockets injuring a number of people including women and children. So, there’s been a tit-for-tat and the United Arab Emirates has not responded, instead it has used its proxy Saudi Arabia to respond to the attacks. In return the Houthis have vowed to continue their fights, they even threatened Dubai which is the tourist attraction for the United Arab Emirates. So, that might just disturb the business there. It’s going to continue. I don’t see it ending anytime soon, as I’ve said, especially with the involvement of Iran.”
Julie Alli spoke to Thembisa Ebrahim Fakude, Senior Research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogue, on News & Views. Listen to the full discussion here: