Saudis Enter Yemen for Peace Talks
Saudi negotiators met in Yemen with Houthi representatives on Sunday to arrange a long-term accord to end the 8-year Yemeni civil war.
The Houthis are an Iran-backed Islamist militia controlling much of northwest Yemen. Various groups backed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states control the rest of the country. Hundreds of thousands have died through violence, man-made famine and other causes. The talks aim to bring an end to all of this.
The context: The Houthis are part of Iran’s global network of jihadist insurgent groups, which include Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and al-Shabaab in Somalia. They have been fighting to turn Yemen into a Shia Islamist state. Saudi Arabia meanwhile is Iran’s great rival for influence over the region. Yemen directly borders Saudi Arabia, which is why the Saudis have been involved in the conflict. Yet Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign against Yemeni targets has given it bad publicity in the international media. Many in the West, including America, are pushing the Saudis to scale back their involvement.
The Saudis and Houthis are already holding to a previously negotiated ceasefire. But the current discussions could make this permanent. It could also see Saudi Arabia permanently disengage from its southern neighbor.
What about Iran? These latest talks come after a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement negotiated by China last month. As part of that deal, Iran agreed to stop attacking Saudi Arabia via the Houthis, while the Saudis have said they intend to withdraw all troops from Yemen. Yemen would remain divided with competing governments, but a permanent peace deal would effectively legitimize the Houthis’ presence in the country.
Ripples on the Red Sea: Yemen sits on the geostrategic Bab el-Mandeb, the strait that connects the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean. Together with the Suez Canal, it controls the shipment of goods such as oil from the Middle East and Asia to the Mediterranean and Europe.
Iran already has a significant presence in the Horn of Africa, the other side of the strait. Full control over Yemen could give Iran mastery over this vital trade choke point. This would give it enormous leverage over energy-hungry Europe, especially.
What the Bible says: Daniel 11:40 prophesies of an end-time clash between a “king of the north” and a “king of the south.” These refer to two modern power blocs: a united Europe led by Germany and, to the south of it, a radical Islamist camp led by Iran. Iran is prophesied to “push” at Europe, triggering a massive counterattack. Blackmailing Europe through control of trade routes would be a major part of Iran’s push. Yemen could play a significant role in that.
To learn more, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s free booklet Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran.