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Iranian influence will help prolong Yemen’s conflict

Monday, February 17, 2020

Significance

The strikes came after Huthi fighters claimed to have downed a Saudi Tornado jet with an advanced missile. Riyadh admitted “collateral damage” from its mission to rescue the pilots and said it had evacuated injured civilians. After the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in early January, Huthi leaders expressed renewed solidarity with military backer Tehran. A period of relative calm was in mid-January overtaken by a new bout of intense fighting, with Huthi advances against coalition forces in western Jawf and Marib.

Impacts

  • The IRGC might more openly challenge the naval blockade that seeks to prevent the smuggling of supplies to the Huthis.
  • The side-lining of peace talks could bring forward a Huthi faction critical of the extent of Iranian influence on the movement.
  • Shifting dynamics may contribute to new blockages of essential food and fuel in Huthi areas, further increasing civilian suffering.
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