Country Risk

Yemen Tensions Intensify, Raising Stakes for Diplomatic Push

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  • Yemen has been a less bloody place since last year’s cease-fire, despite its expiry in October, but recent weeks have seen some dangerous developments.

  • A return to all-out war remains a real prospect — both between a Riyadh-led coalition and the rebel Houthi movement, and within the anti-Houthi alliance.
  • An uptick in attacks by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda raises concerns about potential threats to the region’s critical oil trade and infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia's influence in Yemen is being challenged on different fronts — and how Riyadh manages this will help shape the security outlook on the Arabian Peninsula. Tensions between the rebel Houthi group and the Saudi-backed government in Yemen have been steadily ramping up: Saudi-Houthi talks failed earlier this year, and exports were cut off after a Houthi missile hit the Ash Shihr oil terminal following the expiry of the cease-fire in place between April and October, leaving the government even more financially dependent on Riyadh. Adding to this, fractures within the anti-Houthi alliance appear to be widening again.

Military Conflict, Liquefaction, Security Risk
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