Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 6 Dec 2017


  • Yemen’s former President Saleh Killed in Sanaa
  • Trump to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem
  • Mattis Visits Pakistan to give more Orders


Yemen’s former President Saleh Killed in Sanaa

The latest casualty of the Arab Spring has finally fallen. Ali Abdulah Saleh the former Yemeni President turned on his coalition partners, the Houthi rebels, after clashes in the capital, Sanaa, which had been taken from the government, was killed amid fighting between his loyalists and his former supporters. On December 2nd Saleh broke his alliance with the Houthis and stated publicly that he is open to discussions with Saudi Arabia, thus the coalition with the Houthis was isolated. Saleh has seen many intra-Yemeni conflicts over the past 40 years. He was able to marshal strong tribal support to support his coalition with the Houthis. But after Saleh’s December 2nd announcement, it appears that this time, the seven major tribes around Sanaa were unwilling to side with him, instead watching and waiting to see which way the tides turned before sealing their fates. The death of Saleh is the latest turn in this half a decade old conflict and with all the major international and regional powers involved the conflict just got more complex.


Trump to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump reaffirmed to Mahmoud Abbas this week that he intends to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The US president confirmed his “intention” to move the embassy in a phone call with his Palestinian counterpart, the latter’s spokesman said. Turkey threatened to cut diplomatic ties with the Jewish entity should the country become the first to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel”. Trump had been due to take a decision on the Holy City on Monday but delayed it by several days following a string of public and private warnings from leaders around the globe. Trump in his election campaign ran on a pro-Israeli ticket. Like previous US presidents, Trump wants to show his credentials and support for the Jewish entity. It remains to be seen if this will go ahead as the US agenda has for long always bene to internationalise Jerusalem and not justify the Jewish entity’s control over all of Palestine. Trump has done so many U-turns it will remain to be seen if this will be another.


Mattis Visits Pakistan to give more Orders

Before meeting the PM, Khaqan Abbasi and COAS, Qamar Bajwa, US Defence Secretary, James Mattis said enough about why he was visiting Pakistan. The purpose and objectives of his visit to Islamabad were already evident. He along with many US officials made very clear that Pakistan is not doing enough in an attempt to coerce Pakistan for the failures of the US in Afghanistan. The earlier news reports suggested that he wanted an answer to the categorical question, “Are you with us or not?” the answer to which is not difficult to guess. However, at best the US approach towards can be seen as a carrot and stick approach. A day before, CIA Director Mike Pompeo issued severe warnings to Pakistan if the government failed to destroy safe havens of militants in the country. Pakistan’s rulers and army leadership have tirelessly worked with the US, which just is not enough for them. The ruler so Pakistan have ruined the country in order to please Washington for over a decade.