Yemen peace deal now more urgent
A deal with the rebels is the immediate solution to the conflict, and has now become more urgent.
Just when Yemeni government officials and Houthi rebels are returning to the negotiating table, twin blasts in the country reveal perils that lurk for the peacemakers. The two sides are attempting to end year-long hostilities, but other terror groups have used the opportunity to begin a bloody trail in the country. The Houthis are signalling a climbdown, and appear to breaking free from Iran's clutches. They are willing to talk to the Hadi government, but the return of Daesh and Al Qaeda, who are taking turns to attack government installations and army recruits, are a cause for concern. Yemeni government and Arab coalition forces now have to wage battle on three fronts - against three foes. One is willing to talk, while the other two are getting deadlier by the day. Yemen's government, meanwhile, is keeping communication channels open with the Houthis to prevent a full blown sectarian war and contain Iranian influence in the country. It's a tightrope walk to bring the situation under control. The attack on Monday in which 45 young Yemenis perished in explosions triggered by suicide bombers calls for new responses against different terror groups in the country. Daesh claimed responsibility for the blasts. The group sneaked into the country during the fighting between the Arab coalition and the Houthis.
Al Qaeda has been entrenched there, but the Arab coalition has driven them out of some territories in the south. Ceasefires between the Houthis and the Arab coalition have not held for various reasons, and the lull in fighting has given other terror outfits time to regroup. It's no secret that the Houthis have been supported and funded by the regime in Tehran. Now that they are willing to talk, there may be reasons to suspect that former president Saleh is playing a double game and has hitched his support to Daesh or Al Qaeda. Talks have also been bogged down by a lack of trust. The Houthis talk peace but continue their violations, even preventing medical supplies from reaching those in need. In a shifting terror landscape in Yemen, Saleh has shown he can ally with the devil if it suits his interests. He was the perfect foil for the Houthis after he was ousted from power. When the Hadi government took over, Saleh and the rebels ran riot and dislodged the government. This saw an aerial offensive by the Gulf countries, which was followed by a ground campaign that retook large tracts of the south from the rebels, including the strategic city of Aden. A deal with the rebels is the immediate solution to the conflict, and has now become more urgent. Once that is achieved, Daesh and Al Qaeda can then be targeted by a unified Yemeni army.