South Yemen Fighting Leaves Saudi War on Uncertain Footing

War on Houthis Was Going Poorly Before Hadi Forces Were Routed in South

The future of the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen was already in doubt in recent months, with advances having gone poorly, and less and less territory trading hands. Fighting over the past week in South Yemen’s capital of Aden has made it far less certain.

The Saudi-backed Hadi government not only saw a change of fortune in its de facto capital, but was downright routed early in the week, in a matter of days, by United Arab Emirates-backed secessionist forces.

The Saudis have tried to calm the situation, entreating the secessionists to back Hadi. The fighting has stopped for now, but the situation is still uncertain, and that leaves the chances of the Saudis pushing Hadi forces into further offensives anytime soon quite unlikely.

The secessionists, after all, just want to establish South Yemen as an independent nation, with Aden its capital. That territory has already been “liberated” by the Saudi invasion, and they may want to avoid a violent Saudi crackdown on themselves, but probably aren’t on board for committing their forces to fighting for North Yemen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.