Chaos and uncertainty continue to mire Yemen with the fall of the nation’s capital to Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) issued a statement regarding the destabilization in the region that has forced the United States, United Kingdom, and France to shut down their embassies there. Royce noted Iran’s hand in stimulating this turmoil:
The continuing evacuation of U.S. partners from Yemen – including Saudi Arabia – is a disappointing and dangerous development. The presence of Western and regional governments in Sana’a are critical to promoting political stability and countering terrorism. Iran is helping to fuel this chaos. Yesterday al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula overran a Yemeni military base and seized heavy weaponry.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels are backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and share the same motto as the Iranian Quds forces from whom they take their orders. “Death to America” is their motto.
Royce pointed out in his statement that America’s presence — coupled with that of allied western forces — was essential to carrying out counterterrorism efforts in the country that is now experiencing a devastating civil war.
President Barack Obama has held that America’s partnership with the Yemeni government was a model for counterterrorism success. That model has failed:
If the President believes his strategy in Yemen should be a model for combating ISIL, as he told the American people in September, then he’d better think again. Yemen is looking more like Somalia than success.
Somalia is the poorest country in Africa. And Yemen is largely considered to be the poorest country in the Middle East.
Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned soon after his capital was seized. He was a strategic U.S. ally in assisting with the targeting of al-Qaeda by providing America with intelligence used for drone strikes on the terrorist organization.
Royce has stated that the fall of Yemen is largely seen as a “strategic win” for Iran and al-Qaeda.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz