Greater Middle East

Biden pledges end to US support for Yemen war —almost

President Joe Biden announced the United States will end support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen that has deepened suffering in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country. “This war has to end,” Biden told diplomats in his first visit to the State Department as president, saying the conflict has created a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” Biden pledged an end to “relevant” US arms sales, while giving no immediate details on what that would mean. However, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was quick to add that an end to US support for the Saudi war against the Houthi rebels will not affect US operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). (Photo: OCHA)

Greater Middle East

Yemen: now a three-way war —or four?

Over the past weeks, the two biggest members of the international coalition supporting the official government of Yemen against the Houthi rebels have fallen out, with Saudi Arabia continuing to back President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the United Arab Emirates switching its support to southern separatists. UAE-backed forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized control of the port city of Aden after days of fighting with Saudi-backed forces of the official government. Hadi’s government had been based in Aden since Iran-backed Houthi rebels sezied the capital Sanaa in 2014. Aden had been the capital of South Yemen before it united with North Yemen in 1990. In addition to Hadi’s government, the STC and the Houthis, militants of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continue to wage an insurgency in the south. (Map via  Perry-Castañeda Library)

Greater Middle East

Yemen: US warplanes strike Qaeda targets

US warplanes and drones struck supposed al-Qaeda targets across three provinces in Yemen, killing at least 12 suspected militants and wounding multiple civilians.

Greater Middle East

Yemen: Saudis bomb anti-bombing demonstration

Saudi fighter jets carried out air-strikes on a peaceful rally in Yemen's capital Sanaa that had been called to protest Saudi air-strikes, leaving several dead.

Greater Middle East

US strikes AQAP training camp in Yemen

The US killed "dozens" of AQAP fighters in an air-strike on a training camp, but claims of denying the group "safe haven" ring hollow as its zones of control grow in Yemen.

Watching the Shadows

Obama delivers Gitmo closure plan to Congress

President Obama delivered his plan to close Guantánamo Bay to Congress—to be immediately met by Republican opposition, with Ted Cruz calling for the facility's expansion.


ISIS franchise: Nigeria to Yemen to Pakistan

Over the past two months, the ISIS international franchise has made gains from West Africa to the Indian subcontinent, with militants in several countries proclaiming for the "caliphate."

Greater Middle East

Yemen’s Houthi rebels: Iran’s proxies?

Claims that the Houthi uprising in Yemen is an Iranian plot ignore that the Houthis' brand of Shia is heretical to Iran's ayatollahs—and that Yemen's Shi'ites have real grievances.


#JeSuisCharlie hypocrisy goes off the charts

Under the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, an attack on free speech is being used to justify further attacks on free speech… in the paradoxical name of protecting free speech.