Hailed by President Barack Obama as a model for fighting extremism, the U.S. counter terrorism strategy in Yemen has shattered, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials. The Middle Eastern nation has been on the brink of armed conflict since Shiite rebels seized control of government facilities, dissolved parliament and placed the President under house arrest, in September.
In retaliation, this past week, Sunni troops killed 137 people, pretending to be disabled and hiding explosives under casts. In response to increased tensions, American troops and embassy staff have been evacuated from the country, leaving American intelligence lacking any eyes on the ground.
Fighters from Yemen’s Shiite Houthi movement have entered the Red Sea port of Al-Mukha, a short drive from a Red Sea shipping lane vital to oil shipments. “We can’t help but think that the turmoil in Yemen is the emerging and under-appreciated risk for investors in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) stocks,” said Citi analysts Josh Levin and in a research note distributed from London on Tuesday. Crude oil is down around 50 percent since a peak in June 2014, leaving many in the area economically desperate. No sign of decreased tensions have been observed, and the international oil industry is projected to continue extreme slumping.