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What drives the Saudi intervention in Yemen?

We invite you to attend the upcoming Middle East Studies Forum seminar presentation by Kamilia Al-Eriani on the motivations behind the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s intervention into Yemen.

On 25 March, 2015, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) led collation launched its military “Operation Decisive Storm” against Yemen, which continues until today. The KSA’s motivation was to ward off the Iranian-Shi’it threat. The KSA claimed that the Iranian-Shi’it expansion in the majority Suni Arabian Peninsula was evident in the September 2014 take-over of the capital city of Sana’a by the armed Zaydi-Shi’it movement, the Huthies, known otherwise as Anasr Allah (the Partisans of God). Policy analysts were quick to dub the military intervention and the civil war it provoked as sectarian conflicts. However, describing the conflict as such falls short in unveiling its real nature.

This presentation will delve into the history of Zaydi-Shi’it and Shafi’i-Suni traditions embedded in the Yemen political culture to explain why describing the struggle as sectarian does not capture the complex realities on the ground. The second part of the paper will look at two possible explanations (macro and micro geopolitical developments) that could help us unravel the nature of the current military operations in Yemen.


The seminar flyer can be downloaded here.

24 February 2020, 12-1.30 pm

Level 2, Building BC, Deakin University Burwood

RSVP to by 17 February for catering purposes.

Speaker Bio

Kamilia Al-Eriani holds a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include state politics, the processes of de-democratization, and modes of ethical politics.