By Juan Cole
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
This piece originally appeared on Informed Comment.
Yemen, a country of 28 million and one of the poorest in the world, had already become a byword for misery over the course of the last four years of war. Now, believe it or not, things have abruptly worsened.
The strategic port of Aden has fallen to southern separatists, just as it did in 1967, when the Communists took over and created the People’s Republic of South Yemen.
The Southern Transitional Council took over the strategic port of Aden with four hundred armed vehicles that had been supplied to it by the United Arab Emirates. The UAE had joined the Saudi war on Yemen after it was launched by Mohammed Bin Salman in spring of 2015. Some of the southern secessionists are ex-Communists. Some are hard line Salafi fundamentalists. The potential for religious extremism in the South is enormous.
The Saudis are now riposting against the allies of their ally. This is not about Iran but about regional power rivalry.
In essence, Yemen is now split in three, with 1) the Southern secessionists, 2) what’s left of the government of Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and…