Facilitating the passage of 11% of the world’s petroleum annually, the juncture of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea manifests compelling geopolitical and strategic value for global economies. With an increased naval presence in the Red Sea, the Saudi Royal family has sought to develop a backdoor for crude oil export thus minimizing Iran’s ability to manipulate oil markets with threatening rhetoric in blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
This week’s continuing revolution in Yemen represents a significant change to the political and economic landscape, which dictates the power-share and balance dynamics once centered exclusively in the Persian Gulf. Launching an offensive in February of 2014, the Houthis, a Shi’a tribe from the northwest border-region of Yemen, made significant gains by September of 2014 in securing key terrain just 10-miles north of Yemen’s capital, the El Rahaba International Airport. With the overrunning of the Yemeni presidential compound in January 2015 followed by the resignation of President Hadi, a move formally rejected by the Yemeni parliament, the country has experienced severe political decay.
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