After a violent Wednesday that saw 17 protesters killed, soldiers loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and defectors clashed in the streets of Sanaa, leaving a number wounded. It may have been the first shots in a much bigger battle.
That is because in the wake of attacks on student protesters, a number of calls went out for protection. This has led several hundred Yemeni tribesmen, many of them leaders of enormously influential factions, to answer the call.
Though it is only a few hundred tribesmen now, the fiercely loyal and heavily armed tribes would clearly react with overwhelming force if the Saleh government crackdown got several of them killed.
Indeed, past attempts at crackdowns in the north spawned violent retaliation from the tribes there. This ended with the northern provinces in a state of de facto independence. If the new deployments end in a similar manner, it could cost Saleh control over what little of the nation he has left.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Al-Qaeda Fighters Kill 22 Syrian Troops Near Idlib - November 16th, 2018
- US Opposes UNGA Resolution Calling on Israel to Return Golan Heights - November 16th, 2018
- US to Accuse Iran of Capacity to Violate Chemical Weapons Ban - November 16th, 2018
- Israel Coalition Falters as Netanyahu Takes Top Positions - November 16th, 2018
- Report: CIA Concludes Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi's Murder - November 16th, 2018