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Yemen Conflict
Yemen's Houthis Join the Government at Gunpoint

Reeling from last week’s attacks on its capital, Sana’a, Yemen’s government has agreed to a power-sharing deal with the Houthi rebel group. As the New York Times reports:

An assault on Yemen’s capital rocked the transitional government on Sunday as fighters from a Shiite rebel group stormed through the city, seizing government buildings, state media facilities and military bases. The military broke apart, some units appeared to side with rebels, and the prime minister abruptly resigned.

By late Sunday night, President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced that the rebels, known as the Houthis, had agreed to an immediate cease-fire and the formation of a new “technocratic national government.” Although the details remained vague, analysts said the Houthis’ control over the capital would give them the upper hand in dictating the terms of any agreement.

Negotiations will likely focus on the appointment of a new, Houthi-backed Prime Minister. Given the divisions within Yemen it’s not clear whether any such deal will hold, and some fighting continues. As we noted on Friday, none of this is good news for the Saudis, who have put billions of dollars into the Yemeni government, or for the United States, which uses Yemen as a base in the fight against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Iran, however, which has supplied the Houthis with money and weapons, would gain a potential puppet in the new Prime Minister, the better to undermine its two biggest competitors in a new front of the struggle for hegemony in the Middle East.

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