Only a Political Solution for Yemen Can Stop Regional War

Abdel Bari Atwan

 Yemen must now be classified as a ‘failed State’: it has no government, no army, no President and no civic institutions. It is descending into bloody anarchy and widespread sectarian violence which threatens to spread throughout the region.

Yemen is awash with arms, with an estimated two weapons for each of its 25 million citizens. Many of these weapons have been provided by Saudi Arabia and Iran to arm their proxy entities in the war torn land.

The situation


Saudi Stirs Regional Hornet’s Nest With Yemen Attack

Abdel Bari Atwan

The new King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz, sent 100 fighter planes to bomb Houthi targets inside Yemen on Wednesday night.

The Saudi action is supported by a coalition of ten other countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

Saudi Arabia is usually slow to act, favouring deliberation and restraint, but when its own interests are so directly threatened it strikes at once.

But the Saudi action is fraught with risks and the


Saudi Arabia And The Yemen Crisis

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are becoming increasingly alarmed by the burgeoning  influence and military successes of the Ansar Allah Houthi militias in Yemen which has taken over the seat of government in Sanaa and is currently advancing on Aden where the country’s legitimate President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has relocated.

The Shia militias are now the number one security priority for the GCC and for Saudi Arabia in particular since it shares a long


Netanyahu’s victory is self-destructive for Israel (Atwan in Gulf News)

Israel’s elections have produced one winner and many losers … which may, ultimately, include the people of Israel themselves. Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute shift to hard-Right secured him the victory that was very much in doubt until a few days ago.

As his supporters celebrated they chanted “he is a magician”. The two magical spells he cast over the electorate were: ‘No’ to an independent Palestinian state and ‘yes’ to continuing


Abdel Bari Atwan Special to Gulf news: Netanyahu’s victory is self-destructive for Israel

 

ABDEL BARI ATWAN

Israel’s elections have produced one winner and many losers … which may, ultimately, include the people of Israel themselves. Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute shift to hard-Right secured him the victory that was very much in doubt until a few days ago.

As his supporters celebrated they chanted “he is a magician”. The two magical spells he cast over the electorate were: ‘No’ to an independent Palestinian state and ‘yes’ to continuing


Jordan’s Rapprochement With Iranian Kingmaker

Abdel Bari Atwan

What does the Jordanian foreign minister’s surprise visit to Tehran after 8 years of estrangement mean? Why is Jordan launching an ‘initiative’ for dialogue with the Iranian leadership to solve the problems of the region? Is this the beginning of crowning Iran as a regional superpower and complying with its wishes? Will the dialogue include President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Huthis in Yemen?

When Jordanian


Battle For Tikrit Presents West With New Dilemmas (Atwan in Gulf News)

The political landscape of the Middle East has never been as unstable and every day produces a new surprise

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:22 March 8, 2015

  • Gulf News

  • Iran is overtly engaged in the battle to retake the Iraqi city of Tikrit from Daesh (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), creating new dilemmas for the West and its regional allies.

The 30,000 strong force currently encircling Saddam Hussain’s home town amid ‘Operation Liberate Tikrit’


Don’t Look to the West for help as IS enters Libya

By Abdel Bari Atwan

While the United States and the anti-IS coalition were focused on striking at IS in Syria and Iraq, and on training the Iraqi army and peshmerga forces, the Islamic State (IS) surprised everyone by revealing its strong presence in Libya where it controls four major cities (Sirte, Tibruk, Derna and Banghazi).

After Egyptian fighter planes bombed IS targets in Eastern Libya last week in retaliation for the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, the group launched


There’s no magic solution to Yemen crisis

The sectarian aspect of the current violence in Yemen mirrors other conflicts throughout the region and the proxy nature of many of these wars

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:11 February 18, 2015

  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Luis Vazquez/©Gulf News

Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, once described ruling his fractious country as being “like dancing on the heads of snakes”.

Saleh was toppled in Yemen’s episode of the Arab Spring and replaced by


Abdel Bari Atwan Special to Gulf News: Heinous barbarity is part of ISIS ‘brand’

The group needed to reassert its credentials as the ‘meanest kid on the block’ following the loss of Kobani

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:23 February 5, 2015

  • Gulf News

Heinous barbarity is part of Daesh ‘brand’

  • Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News

I thought I was inured to the horrific excesses of violence perpetrated by Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) — especially as I am about to publish a new book on the subject — but I was unable to watch all of its latest video depicting the burning