The United Nations is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says he’s gravely concerned about the ground fighting and airstrikes that have cut off food and medical supplies to the Yemeni people. Yemen is said to be at the center of a regional proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia for influence and power in the region. Over a three week period, a Saudi-led coalition reportedly carried out over 23,000 airstrikes.
Saudi Arabia says its goal is to oust Shiite Houthi rebels and restore the presidency of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who fled the country and is now is exile. The Houthis, reportedly backed by Iran, seized the capital of Sana’a last September and are in control of most of Western Yemen.
The Heat discussed the power play in the Middle East with Hillary Mann Leverett, a visiting scholar at Georgetown University and the co-author of “Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The Heat continued its discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen following weeks of airstrikes and ground fighting by an Arab-led coalition with the following experts:
- Abubakr Al-Shamahi, who covers Yemen for various publications including Al-Araby Al-Jadeed English.
- Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, a columnist for the Saudi Newspaper, Al Yaum and is a retired Commodore in the Royal Saudi Navy
- And Adnan Tabatabai, a political analyst on Iranian affairs and the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient.