Iranian-backed Sh’ite insurgents and a Western and Saudi backed Sunni government are fighting a civil war over the control of Yemen.
Estimates of how many have been killed in the fighting in Yemen range into the thousands. Many analysts worry that the conflict could turn into yet another proxy war between Iranian-backed insurgents and Western and Saudi backed Sunni governments.
The summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Istanbul this week was marred by open disagreement over the Shi’ite uprising in the mountains of northern Yemen. The reason was a speech ofleading Sh’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Safi Golpaygani. He told the gathering that the Yemeni government’s crackdown on the Houthi rebellion was unacceptable.
«We ask the Organization of the Islamic conference why is it silent toward war and fratricide in Yemen and does not take an action?», the ayatollah asked the Conference attendees. Headding that «certain neighboring countries are cooperating with Yemeni armed forces in these coldblooded crimes».
His criticism was undoubtedly aimed at Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh ordered cross-border bombing runs on Houthi strongholds after the violence spread into Saudi territory.
Elsewhere, a Yemeni foreign Ministry spokesman tol d the official Saba news agency that the country rejects Iranian «interference» in the country’s civil war and also the presence of foreign fighters, including Hizbullah explosives experts.
Estimates of how many have been killed in the fighting range into the thousands and many analysts worry that the conflict could turn into yet another proxy war between Iranian-backed insurgents and Western and Saudi backed Sunni governments.