Yemen Crisis Shia Sunni Conflict | Strange Military Stories


Yemen is an Islamic nation with 65 per cent Sunni and 35 per cent Shia population. It is a fertile territory which also receives adequate rainfall due to its mountainous terrain. The population of Yemen is relatively noor as the natural resources of Yemen are declining. Historically, Yemen had a Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom from 1918 to 1962 which ended with the reign of Mohammad-al-Badr. The conflict in Yemen is primarily between Houthis and Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. The Houthi's belonged to a Shia sect called Zaydis and were organised as the Jund Ansar Allah.

The problem in Yemen began for the first time in 2004 when Hussein Badr-al-Houthi began an uprising against the Ali Abdullah Saleh government in Yemen. The root cause of the uprising was the demand by the Houthis for more autonomy with an aim to protect Houthi Shias from cultural invasion by Sunni Muslims. This conflict lasted from 2004 to 2010. In 2011, as the Arab Spring gripped the entire Arab world, the Houthis participated against the Saleh government, which was being led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as a de facto head. 

In 2012, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi came to power. In February 2014, the National Dialogue Conference happened in Yemen.In the conference, the Houthis also participated. The conference spoke about dividing Yemen into a federation of six regions. The Houthis opposed the idea, saying that with the forming of such a federation, violence shall begin all over again. The Houthis, being Shias, receive support from Iran and at present, control northern Yemen and the capital Sana. In the southern part of Yemen, since 2007, there has been a secessionist movement called al-Hirak or South Yemen Movement which also poses threat to Yemen's sovereignty. 

In the Southeast part of Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Ansar-al-Sharia are active as Sunni extremists. As there are Indians in Yemen, the Indian government has stationed naval ships-INS Sumitra, INS Mumbai and INS Tarkash in on standby by any immediate evacuation in for future. The conflict, at the regional level can be pursued through the prism of the Shia Sunni axis, with group supported by both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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