Al-Sisi's new front much appreciated by the Saudis

The country risks becoming a test site for a regional war.

The Sunni coalition fighting alongside Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi includes Egyptian President and former General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for whom the campaign in Yemen is the third stage in Cairo’s Middle East expansionism. The first stage began on 3 July 2013. As soon as then President Mohamed Morsi had been deposed, al-Sisi supported Israel in Operation Protective Edge against Gaza, prolonging the conflict for weeks. In the second stage, he galvanised the military coup in Libya led by ex-General Khalifa Haftar, backing the weak parliament in Tobruk.

Now al-Sisi has turned his attentions to Yemen. Indeed, in order to understand current events in the Yemeni city of Sanaa, it helps to recall the 1952 Egyptian Revolution led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. As president, Nasser repressed the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt and forged an alliance with the Soviet Union. By then annexing Syria, Nasser created a giant state, the United Arab Republic. He further allied with Colonel Abdullah Sallal in Yemen, leader of the republican coup that overthrew King Muhammad al-Badr (closely allied with Saudi Arabia). Nasser thus inspired the Arab nationalists occupying Sanaa, which led to the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in the north.

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