top of page

Yemen's power dynamics heighten Red Sea tensions

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea which have sparked tensions with the West are a spill-over effect of the nearly decade-old conflict between Saudi-led government forces in Yemen and the Iran-backed group.

Top shipping companies have decided to put off their voyages in the Red Sea as the Hothis ramp up attacks on commercial vessels in response to Israel's onslaught in Gaza.

On Dec. 6, 2023, the Pentagon reported discussions for the establishment of an international maritime task force to counter Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. On Dec.18, a multinational mission named Operation Prosperity Guardian was announced.

Houthi attacks endanger the passage through the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and provides the shortest route between Europe and Asia, where approximately 12% of global trade is conducted.

Yemen divided into three zones of influence after a decade of civil war

Ongoing tensions in the Red Sea have not substantially altered the influence of conflicting parties in Yemen.

Yemen remains divided into three zones of influence, the legitimate government supported by Saudi Arabia, the Houthis backed by Iran, and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yemen has been embroiled in conflict since the military intervention by the Saudi-led Arab coalition in March 2015 following the Houthi's seizure of the capital Sanaa.

Despite the support of the Saudi-led coalition forces, the Yemeni government has failed to establish control over the entire country in the nine years that have transpired.

Yemen, a stage for conflicts between factions for years, has been fragmented and devastated due to the consequences of the ongoing civil war.


bottom of page