James King, an expert on Zaydism, has a good and accessible over-view of the situation in Yemen at Truthout.org He was also kind enough to email me a link to a paper he has written titled “Zaydi’s in a Post-Zaydi Yemen”. I look forward to reading it and blogging about it, as I think that it is too easy and misleading to just say a “Shi’ite Rebellion”. A deeper knowledge of the grievances would be very helpful. Actually, a fun drinking game is to take a shot anytime someone says “Shi’ite rebellion” as a way of explaining the Huthi war.
A nice little headline here– “UK Joins Friends of Yemen Group- which doesn’t sound at all infantile.
Meanwhile, up north, the government and the Huthis are arguing over potential truce terms. The Saudis are claiming that there have been in-country sniper attacks by the Huthis, but also claiming that they are no longer fighting inside Yemen. One of the issues with potential truces is that, for all three sides, they represent a huge chance to continue to control the narrative, which is essentially what all civil wars are about. No one wants to accept conditions that make them sound like the aggressor, and even subtle differences in wording can be a sticking point.
Finally, in the south, an opposition politician was gunned down late last week. The southern movement is the “third rebellion”- it is rarely remarked upon except in passing. But we’ve both argued at times that this is the most important of the three rebellions, and the one that presents Yemeni unity its gravest challenge.