Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Articles & Op-Eds

Conflict and Cover-Up: The Real Story of What Is Happening in Yemen

Simon Henderson

Also available in العربية

The Hill

January 25, 2018

As Saudi military failures draw ever-sharper criticism, Iran seems content to support proxy actions that stop just short of prompting a direct clash with Riyadh.

As being played in Washington, the Yemen story is one of worsening famine caused at least in part by inaccurate Saudi bombing of pro-Iranian Houthi tribesmen. The real story is about a cover-up of Saudi military embarrassment and the imminent risk of wider conflict from which Iran, at little cost to itself, will only profit. The Houthis effectively control a strip of Saudi territory several miles deep along the border, from opposite the city of Jizan eastwards to Najran—we are talking about 100 square miles of the kingdom, possibly more. There is some debate whether the land can be described as "occupied" or not, and occasionally the Saudi military makes forays into it, but essentially it serves as a launching area for Houthi attacks on Saudi military positions and border towns...

Read the full article on the Hill website.