Thank the US-backed Saudi Attack for the Rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen

by | May 6, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s United States-backed attack on Yemen is contributing to the rise of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) in Yemen. This is the verdict of Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Hillary Mann Leverett in a very informative interview on the CCTV show The Heat this week.

Speaking with host Anand Naidoo, Leverett presents an overview of the ongoing Saudi attack on Yemen, which Leverett notes is “a wide-ranging bombing campaign that has bombed hospitals, has bombed refugee centers, has bombed civilian targets, as well as what [the Saudi Arabian government] may characterize as military targets.” She also addresses in the interview how, despite the attack on Yemen being promoted as the means to defeat the Houthis, the Houthis are “clearly coming out ahead.” In addition, Leverett argues that both al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen are benefiting from the attacks. Leverett explains:

So, in terms of some of the dynamics, even though there is a broad spectrum of diversity in terms of sect and regional divide, the Houthis are clearly coming out ahead. The other group that unfortunately is coming out ahead, I think for the international community, is al-Qaeda — al-Qaeda and ISIS — because the Saudi intervention has eviscerated the more moderate Sunni Islamist political participants in the country — eviscerated them. And so at this point Sunnis only have to turn to the more radical groups like al-Qaeda and the increasingly strong Islamic State gaining a foothold in Yemen.

Beyond devastation inside Yemen, Leverett concludes that the results of the US-backed attack include “further enflaming the tensions throughout the entire region.”

Watch the complete interview here:

The new attack on Yemen comes after years of US intervention in the country, including supporting a coup and conducting many drone strikes.

From Yemen to Libya to Iraq and Syria to Kenya and Somalia. US-backed military intervention keeps contributing to the rise of groups the US government is supposedly trying to defeat in its Global War on Terrorism.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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