Yemen: Unknown Revolution and International Conflict

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-8-71-81

L. Isaev, National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), 20, Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation (
A. Korotaev, National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), 20, Myasnitskaya St., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation (

Acknowledgements. Research has been implemented in the framework of NRU HSE Program of Fundamental Studies in 2015 with support of Russian Scientifi c Foundation, Project 14-18-03615.

Abstract. The so-called Arab spring of 2011 did not pass by Yemen. As it became clear later on, it triggered a chain of events leading up to cardinal changes in the country’s destiny. It would be wrong, however, to call the 2011 turmoil a revolution since it failed to bring about a fundamental social and political transformation. This was achieved later, in 2014-2015, when a vigorous social protest was accompanied by an outburst of tribalism as the Shiite Houthi movement dared to challenge the long-standing domination of powerful traditional clans that used to be represented by President Salih who lost his position but kept trying to ensure a comeback. In a completely new and surprising configuration of forces Salih made an alliance with the Houthites who succeeded in quickly overrunning most of the country. These events, unlike the 2011 events, can be branded a genuine revolution. The situation was aggravated by the increased activity of “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula” and the separatist movement in the South. As the Houthites appeared to be winning, Saudi Arabia began a large scale military intervention aimed at preventing Yemen from becoming a Shia-dominated state and possibly an Iranian stooge. As a result of the Saudi air bombardment, contours of a serious international conflict have been shaping up.

Keywords: Yemen, Ansar Allah, Houthi, Revolution, Al Ahmar, Saleh, Zaidiyyah

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For citation:
Isaev L., Korotaev A. Yemen: Unknown Revolution and International Conflict. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 8, pp. 71-81.

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