A common enemy? Yemen’s warring factions against ISIS

“[A united front against ISIS is] something the Houthis would definitely be interested in, right from the very beginning, one of their grievances was the inability of the government to protect them from extreme Salafist views some of which have now found its way into Al Qaeda and ISIS.”

In April 2015, the Saudi Arabian government declared its air campaign Decisive Storm concluded and announced to shift its focus from fighting the Houthis to counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen. Since ISIS launched its first major attack in Sanaa in March 2015, the extremist group as well as Al-Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) have been one of the main beneficiaries of the chaos, exploiting the power vacuum created in the civil war.

What are the prospects of the two fronts in Yemen’s War uniting against what seems like a common enemy?

Sultan Barakat is the Director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and Professor at the University of York.

The interview was recorded in Amsterdam on June 22nd, 2016.