Yemeni spring smells of war

(To Denise Serangelo)

So far Yemen and its political protagonists have always managed to pull the rope just enough to avoid the catastrophe, they managed to stop just before the irreparable happened.

This time it seems that the rope has broken and has brought into play a rather large number of Arab countries with their respective fighter bombers who have every intention of not being unused.

Saudi Arabia eventually took the initiative on the state of uncertainty in Yemen, and at midnight today bombed some of the minority Shi'ite strongholds that threatened the airport city of Aden's miraculous seat of government - or what is left of it .

Yemen, for geographic and historical-cultural reasons, is a strategic point of interest for neighboring Saudi Arabia - majority Sunni - the country is inherently a new state that allows the petromonarchia to always be protected from social instability while safeguarding at the same time economic interests and, secondly, by preventing actors outside the country from harming it by putting pressure on the government.

A politically perfect plan but as every perfect plan has an "Achilles' heel": the Arab spring in which Yemen participated in the 2011 and which saw it march convinced of a new era of democracy has left a long trail of social instability and outbreaks of discontent.

Any Yemeni democracy could ruin the plans of the Saudi government that fears for its economic interests and especially for the stability of its kingdom: a strong and independent neighbor would pose a threat.

The Saudi monarchy does not break down and puts its instruments of influence on the table of regional politics, first and foremost the money necessary to prevent the Yemeni institutions from falling into a chasm with no return.

In late 2013, Saudi Arabia announced the freezing of financial assistance to the country using political instability as a justification for this decision. However, a keen eye could easily understand that this decision takes more the guise of blackmail in a big way than a real concern for the country's instability.

Riyadh - not having the Sana'a government bargaining power to be able to impose itself with a credible level of national sovereignty - manages its neighbor's policy as a not-too-significant appendage of its national policy, remaining annoyed when, in dialogue for the process of the new government of national unity, the Shiite faction headed by the Islamic Republic of Iran is also called upon.

Iran vehemently opposes Saudi dominance with the Shiite Al-Houthi movement, its main instrument of influence in the area.

The movement from the 2004 has always found greater legitimacy in the local population, starting a process very similar to that of Hezbollah in Lebanon that led him today to be represented by a political party involved in the vicissitudes of the country: Ansar Allah.

This legitimacy shakes the solid certainties of the other power groups in the country, including the Saudi influences.

The monarchy proved to be ultra-sensitive to any Iranian attempt to weaken its influence in the region. For this reason, as soon as the Shiite movement has almost crossed the threshold of the very important city of Aden, what has presented itself as the prelude to a particularly strong proxy for a regional war has been unleashed.

Every possible real attempt to stabilize the area will depend above all on the will of the two regional giants. Optimism today leaves room for the concerns of analysts and experts who see in the war almost certain a chasm from which Yemen may not get up again.

While Europe is silent, the United States is quick to support Saudi Arabia with the promise of logistical and intelligence support, Egypt has already sent an unknown number of warships to the Gulf of Aden and has promised that if if necessary, it would be ready to send ground troops; ultimately Turkey, in addition to effectively exploiting its bombers, has sent well-armed troops to the Saudi border with Yemen where troops of all nationalities belonging to the Muslim political landscape are siding.

It seems that the war has begun, at least at a table

The chronic instability, coupled with the weak central government and the perennial tribal feuds, have voraciously nourished terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the instigator of the 9 massacres in January, and there is certainly enough space for black flags of the IS: a showcase for terrorism greedy to many and which finds fertile ground in all those subjects who have been disappointed by the Yemeni government and its ghost politics.

A war certainly would not benefit anyone, going to aggravate the already precarious situation of the population that was seen as a human shield on one side or the other.

The international organization Intersos, recalls that the situation for civilians was already very critical before the Saudis decided to arm the fighters, the future certainly can not improve.

What is taking place in Yemen is also a war for the leadership of the jihadist universe taking place on a regional scale between the Islamic State of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Qaedist supply chains linked to Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide attacks in the mosques frequented by Houthi in Sana'a, while Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was quick to deny any involvement with the attacks while remaining faithful to the guidelines issued by Sheikh Al Zawahiri.

Such guidelines advise against attacks "on mosques, markets and public places to avoid deaths of innocent Muslims, and prioritize pre-eminent interests", according to the translation of the AQAP message, the Islamic State and its followers have rejected Zawahiri's approach, and carry out indiscriminate attacks against civilians.

The rise of Al-Qaeda was favored by the presence of various Sunni imams sympathizing with Osama Bin Laden and by the fact that Yemen has undisputed strategic and geographical advantages.

The main concern is a somalization of Yemen

As is well known, Somalia has lived in a state of civil war practically since the 70 years. Since then whole generations have not seen peace with their own eyes. The Somalian economy, flourishing and well underway, has been reduced to a miserable crossroads of smugglers of all sorts. Who has not become a refugee in some camp set up at best has remained the hostage to a war that either fights or is lost.

The main concern for Yemen is precisely to become a second Somalia, but this time at the mercy not only of terrorists and smugglers but also of two states to fight a war from which they only have to gain. 

For the West, probably, Yemen will be a new "failed state" in the heart of the geopolitical system of the petromonarchies of the Gulf where one of the most dangerous branches of al Qaeda nestles, swearing to want to bring jihad to the heart of Europe. For us, that between war and politics we have made the day, is one of the few conflicts that perhaps - with a little 'commitment - we could hardly avoid.

The arrival of the spring for the Yemeni people smells of cherry and war.

(opening CBS frame)