Violence and Turmoil Still Continues to Tear Apart the Middle East

By IVAN ZHYKHARIEV

The Islamic State (IS) advances further, taking more territory from Iraqi government troops. Bitter fighting has taken place at Baqubah, the last major town before the Iraqi capital.

Yemen also became a victim of what seemed to be a coordinated operation by IS and Al-Qaeda, who conducted two suicide attacks, killing 137 people. The Shia opposition Houthis took control over the capital of Yemen, thereby pushing the government forces out from the city of Sana.

The nature of such a rapid and synchronized attack may suggest that IS and Al-Qaeda had coordinated their activities. If that is the case, one can witness the creation of pro-ISIS coalition.

The U.S. troops that were stationed in Yemen were evacuated immediately after Houthi fighters invaded Taiz, the second most important city in the country. It comes on the back of the statement made by the U.S. State Department that, “Due to the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the U.S. government has temporarily relocated its remaining personnel out of Yemen.”

The Iranian-backed Shia rebels, known as Houthis, criticize the legitimate government of Yemen, specifically, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is recognized by the United Nations.

Deterioration of this conflict can be a valuable opportunity for Al-Qaeda to establish control over Yemen, as the country has been Al-Qaeda’s stronghold for the last few decades.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke added, “We … continue to actively monitor terrorist threats emanating from Yemen and have capabilities postured in the area to address them.”

After a number of cities were raided by Al-Qaeda militants, hundreds of its members escaped from prisons, causing chaos in a nearby villages.

It is believed that both the IS and Al-Qaeda are working together to destabilize the situation in Yemen. It is easier to take control over a state with neither political power nor stable economy.

Ivan Zhykhariev

Ivan Zhykhariev is a junior studying communication and emerging media. Interested in sports, Zhykhariev works as a soccer commentator for Lynn’s soccer program. One of his biggest achievements was being a part of the production team of the 2012 European Championships.

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