The escalation syndrome of Iran and UAE’s two putschist militias in Yemen

The escalation syndrome of Iran and UAE’s two putschist militias in Yemen


By Dhiya Aljabali

The Iran-backed Houthi militia, and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militia, on many occasions manifest a tendency to copy one another’s behavior in undermining the Yemeni government’s authority. In particular, the UAE’s militia tend to copy the behavior of Iran’s militia.

What is the latest?  

As Iran’s Houthi militia in Yemen’s north stepped up their attack on the government-held Marib province this month, the UAE’s STC militia in the south stepped up their attacks on the government too by words and actions and sometimes the two militias took identical escalation measures against government-held cities:


  1. The STC leader Aydaroos al-Zabeei said in a press interview with the Guardian early this month that Marib’s fall to the Houthis “may accelerate the international talks between the north and the south and lead to a situation where the STC controls most of the south.”
  2. The STC militants launched anti-government protests in Sayoon on 15 March and stormed the presidential palace in Aden in the following day, disrupting the activities of the government which exists only symbolically in the UAE-occupied city, which the government calls “a temporary capital.” This escalation appeared to express UAE’s discontent at the army’s uprising to break the six year Houthi siege around the country’s central city of Taiz, and the news of gains the army is achieving against Iran’s militia in the northern province of Hajjah.



In the same day (20 March):

  1. The Houthis disconnected the government-held part of Yemen from the telecommunications system under their control (GSM operator MTN and CDMA operator Yemen Mobile), and the UAE’s STC militants simultaneously disconnected it from the GSM operator Sabafon’s coverage. STC militants sabotaged the internet cables in Mukalla.
  2. The Houthis cut off al-Aqroodh a rough mountainous long road and only linkage between the countryside of Taiz and its besieged provincial capital.
  3. STC sympathizers in Lahj cut off the only humanitarian conduit for Taiz, a road that connects it with Aden, blocking commercial and humanitarian goods for three million people. With the two roads closed, Taiz is 100% besieged now, unless any of the two roads is re-opened.








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