Ongoing Conflict In Yemen: A Proxy War?

Dr. Öğr. Üyesi İrem Aşkar KARAKIR


It has been almost three years since the eruption of the civil war in Yemen by March 2015, leading to high political instability and severe humanitarian crisis. This article elaborates on the civil war in Yemen by focusing on the interests of main actors, who are involved in the ongoing conflict. The article also evaluates the nature of civil war in Yemen, mainly questioning the liability of describing the tension as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In recent years, there has been a tendency to explain Yemeni conflict through the lens of a religious struggle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’a Iran in order to reinforce their control over the region. It is argued in this study that it would be misleading to call Yemen’s ongoing crisis as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The tension did not emerge as a result of clash of interests by these two countries. Rather it would be fair to suggest that involvement of Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen’s civil war further triggered and complicated the already existing tensions in the country.  The outcome is a complex pattern of conflict which the author of this article argues is indeed different from a proxy war.

Keywords: Yemen, Civil War, Proxy War, Saudi Arabia, Iran

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