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Ansarullah

Ansarullah

A Zaidi Shiite movement operating in Yemen. It seeks to establish a democratic government in Yemen.
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Shiite

represents the second largest denomination of Islam. Shiites believe Ali (peace be upon him) to be prophet"s successor in the Caliphate.
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Axis of Resistances refers to countries and movements with common political goal, i.e., resisting against Zionist regime, America and other western powers. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine are considered as the Axis of Resistance.
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Persian Gulf Cooperation Council

A regional political u n i o n consisting of Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq.
ISIS Terrorist Group

ISIS Terrorist Group

A terrorist group that fights against Resistance Axis in Syria and Iraq. It was founded & armed by America and its allies covertly.
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Taliban

Taliban is a Sunni fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan. It was founded by Mohammed Omar in 1994.
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Wahhabism & Extremism

Wahhabism is an extremist pseudo-Sunni movement, which labels non-Wahhabi Muslims as apostates thus paving the way for their bloodshed.
Kurds

Kurds

Kurds are an ethnic group in the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region, which spans adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. They are an Iranian people and speak the Kurdish languages, which form a subgroup of the Northwestern Iranian branch of Iranian languages.
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NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.
Islamic Awakening

Islamic Awakening

Refers to a revival of the Islam throughout the world, that began in 1979 by Iranian Revolution that established an Islamic republic.
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Al-Qaeda

A militant Sunni organization founded by Osama bin Laden at some point between 1988 and 1989
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Analysis

New Saudi Stance on Yemen; Word Play or Serious Shift

Wednesday 25 May 2016
New Saudi Stance on Yemen; Word Play or Serious Shift

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Alwaght- The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who last week took part in a conference of foreign ministers of Western countries as well as some Arab countries in Paris, in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro has said that Al-Qaeda and ISIS were top enemies in the Arab Peninsula and so they had no right to exist neither in Yemen nor in any other part of the world, but Ansarulah movement was part of the Yemeni community and should stay neighbor to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir repeated the same words in a Twitter post, considering Ansarulah a group from Yemen who had the right to exist.

This Saudi standing on the resistant Yemeni group is seen as unprecedented because earlier the Saudis insisted that Ansarulah must be removed from the Yemeni society.

The remarks represent a new and surprise Saudi stance on the revolutionary group, and are evidence of a shift of Saudi officials’ rhetoric on Yemen which has been brought under Saudi fighter jets’ airstrikes for over a year in Operation Decisive Storm.

There is a question: Is this shift of stance of the Saudis in such circumstances a political game through change in statements or a real shift in Riyadh’s foreign policy?

Claims of change in foreign policy of the kingdom could be supported by a couple of factors:

- Failure to realize declared and undeclared Saudi goals in Yemen. After over a year since the start of Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm against Yemen none of Saudi Arabian objectives have been actualized. Riyadh also failed to impose its will for restoring to power in Sana'a the ousted Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour who with the ministers of his government currently lives in the Saudi capital. The kingdom also failed to force Ansarulah out of the Yemeni capital, as Riyadh’s efforts to push the Yemeni group to hand over heavy weapons to the government of Mansour Hadi met with failure.

- Increased US pressures on Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia shifted stance towards the Yemenis after Washington has put strains on Riyadh to strike ISIS and Al-Qaeda positions and make a deal with Ansarulah. The US thinks that even a show war against terrorism could get Saudi Arabia out of Yemen quagmire.

The US pressures on the Saudis saw a pick after Washington threatened that should the kingdom refused negotiations with Ansarulah and did not set high on the agenda fight against terrorism, it would stop operations of coordination, information exchange and target determination with Saudi war command posts.

- The UAE asks US for help. Responding to the UAE’s demands, the US Department of Defense has deployed 200 special forces to Yemen’s south to help fight Al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Yemen. Although this is illegal and would not exempt the US and the UAE from their occupation responsibilities, it could work against Riyadh as the two Arab countries are in rivalry in Yemen.

- Increased ISIS and Al-Qaeda power. The fighter jets belonging to the Arab states of the Saudi-led military coalition have refrained from striking the positions of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Yemen. On the other side, some countries of the Arab coalition have sent weapons to these two terror groups. All these have bolstered the strength of the terrorists in the war-torn Yemen. The terror groups also lunched effective operations in Hardhramaut and Aden provinces, assassinating some politicians and military commanders, and attacking army bases and pro-Mansour Hadi forces.

Based on what was given, it can be noted that Saudi Arabia has shaken up its priority list in the region though in practice its war on Ansarulah and the Yemeni army is under way. But this Saudi adventure is highly risky because attacks on Al-Qaeda and ISIS which mean opening new fronts, while the kingdom has not concluded the war at the first fronts, could break Saudi Arabia’s efforts and thus result in heavy losses.

Generally, it must be said that Saudi Arabia has launched a full-scale war against Yemen and pounded the country point by point. But now signs of losing the war began to appear to Riyadh. The Syrian crisis has also reached a decisive juncture now and Saudi Arabia is afraid to lose interests in the country. All these factors pushed a decision by the Saudis to seek settlement for Yemen’s crisis. The Saudis see loss in both Syrian and Yemeni fronts a disgrace for Riyadh across the world. But a small success in Syria could save their face and make up for Yemen loss.

It appears that Saudi Arabia’s change is coming with a Western and American advice as they seek mobilization of their whole strength to focus on Syrian fronts, otherwise; the Saudis are those who opposed even a limited participation of Ansarulah in Yemen’s future government and politics.

Consequently, the Saudi stance shift is only tactical in a bid to move from one front to the other in the region to save face.

Tags :

Yemen War Riyadh Ansarullah US

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