Kamran Karami told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations that the al-Bayda province will play an important role in strengthening progress towards Marib due to its proximity to the eight Yemeni provinces, which are mainly in the hands of Mansour Hadi’s forces and the Southern Transitional Council, so Ansarollah insists on opening this front to reduce the concentration of Hadi forces in Marib.
According to this expert, this action is very decisive; Because if Ansarollah succeeds in continuing its progress in the western regions of Marib as well as al-Bayda, Mansour Hadi and al-Islah Prty will be in a very critical situation.
Pointing out that this issue is very important from two perspectives, Karami said, “First, Mansour Hadi will be empty-handed in the peace talks, and second, there will be more clashes between Mansour Hadi and the Southern Transitional Council.”
The expert also described the escalation of political and military clashes between Mansour Hadi and the Southern Transitional Council as the second important development in Yemen’s field equations, and said that both are working to dominate southern Yemen.
Commenting on the history of the Riyadh-Abu Dhabi dispute over Yemen, Karami said “the Yemeni field equation has shifted to the point where the Mansour Hadi coalition and Saudi Arabia, which once fought the UAE and the Southern Transitional Council on the same front against Ansarollah, have split and this division is one of the main problems in the future of the Yemeni peace talks.”
He continued “after the UAE succeeded in forming the Southern Transitional Council in 2017, their progress in the southern provinces of Yemen led to clashes with Mansour Hadi’s forces, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in two meetings in Riyadh 1 and Riyadh 2.”
“They formed a political-military agreement between Mansour Hadi and the Southern Transitional Council, according to which the Transitional Council forces were to hand over the occupied territories, including Aden, to the Hadi forces.”
Karami also stressed that the Southern Transitional Council not only rejected the agreement several times, but also expelled many of Mansour Hadi’s forces from the southern regions and appointed a ministry for himself and sent ambassadors to foreign countries.
“Despite the weak efforts of the UN envoy, the mediation of Oman and the efforts of other regional actors, there is no clear vision for the future of the Yemeni peace talks,” said this researcher of the Arabian Peninsula issues.
“There are several important reasons for this,” he said.
“First, there is the Saudi mentality that it can still ignore Ansarollah’s field achievements and bring back its allies, Mansour Hadi and the Al-Islah Party and the UAE and the Southern Transitional Council in a single line. This is while Yemen has been practically divided into three parts between Ansarollah, Hadi and the Transitional Council, and the conflict between Hadi and the Transitional Council has become more widespread.”
Karami cited the second reason for the rise of the Southern Transitional Council to shape the idea of a southern territory and to consult with actors such as Russia. “There are developments on the ground in Yemen.”
The Southern Transitional Council is trying to bring southern Yemen back to before the 1990s developments. This issue plays a key role in complicating Yemen’s field developments.
He continued “on the one hand, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a conflict of interest in Yemen, and on the other hand, Ansarollah will face the issue of the Southern Transitional Council, even overcoming Mansour Hadi and the Al-Islah Party in the medium term—a council that closely follows the process of disintegration of Yemen.”
Referring to the Iran-Saudi Arabia negotiation process, Karami said “if in this process, the issue of Yemen is seriously included and emphasized as a key axis in the framework of the negotiations, we can hope to some extent for the formation of peace talks between Yemeni groups.”
“Otherwise, one cannot hope for a significant change in resolving the Yemeni crisis if Yemen is considered as a mere side issue in Iran-Saudi talks. In particular, Saudi Arabia still hopes that as the conflict on the Marib front erodes, Mansour Hadi and al-Islah Party will be able to intensify their efforts to regain power and dominate the lost areas. “