Pro-Saleh Forces Reclaim Capital, But for How Long?
With another major day of bloodshed in the capital city, the talk of a “looming civil war” in Yemen is increasingly missing the point – the civil war has already begun.
40 more were killed today when troops loyal to long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh managed to chase the tribesmen out of the capital city of Sanaa. The tribal forces had captured a number of government buildings yesterday after an attack on tribal leader Sheikh Ahmar.
Today’s move is hardly a decisive victory for the regime, however, as Sheikh Ahmar remained defiant, promising to unite with a number of other tribes to “fight to the death” to force Saleh to leave office. Saleh has ruled out handing over power to pro-democracy protesters repeatedly.
And indeed, Saleh has already lost portions of his military, which joined the student protesters around Sanaa university. The loss of tribal support has also meant a number of provinces both north and south are operating as de facto independent entities.
The real question, however, is if the tribes will actually unite against Saleh’s rule. Though the Yemeni military depends largely on foreign funding for support, it is the tribes which are the traditional power blocs in the nation. If they decide to move, it is unfathomable that Saleh can retain his office in any real way.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Scottish Minister Reports Informal Talks on Staying in EU - June 27th, 2016
- UK Cabinet Minister: Second Brexit Vote Possible if EU Offers Better Deal - June 27th, 2016
- UK Labour Party Rebels, Corbyn Faces No-Confidence Vote - June 27th, 2016
- Iraqi Shi'ite Militias Reported Fighting Inside Fallujah - June 27th, 2016
- Eight Suicide Bombers Attack Lebanese Christian Village - June 27th, 2016