For months, Yemeni protesters, which includes tribal forces, the Brotherhood and al-Qaida, lined the streets and filled Change Square in “peaceful” protests that involved violent clashes.
In March, radical Islamists demanded the overthrow of the Saleh government and the installation of an Islamic state.
The state reported that millions have come out in support of the Saleh government, a number impossible to verify.
Saleh relinquished power last Wednesday as Obama wrote,
“The United States will continue to stand by the Yemeni people as they embark on this historic transition”
The opposition to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is, which includes the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida, are now on a path to victory, due, in no small measure, to the intervention of the United States and as a result of the Arab Spring, which the U.S. promoted.
Saleh, an authoritarian President, has been a supporter of the United States, playing a careful balancing act between aligning with us and keeping his hold over his people, many of whom are enemies of the West.
The AP reports that President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule has come to an end in a U.S.-backed deal that provides for only minimal changes at the top of the regime. The plan was drawn up by Yemen’s Gulf neighbors and the U.N. and changes the President but nothing else. His Vice President, Hadi, will be Interim President for two years. The hope is that this deal, which maintain Saleh’s institutions, will keep the Islamists off Saudi Arabia’s doorstep.
Saleh was granted immunity over their protests. Saleh will continue as Honorary President for 90 days. Tens of thousands are currently protesting that agreement.
Obama said the following about Saleh’s departure, “For 10 months, the Yemeni people have courageously and steadfastly voiced their demands for change in cities across Yemen in the face of violence and extreme hardship.”
“Today’s agreement brings them a significant step closer to realising their aspirations for a new beginning in Yemen.”
The courageous Yemenis include the Brotherhood and al-Qaida.The Revolutionary protesters continue to revolt in Change Square under the leadership of youth leader Walid al-Amari despite Saleh’s removal.
Many areas, such as Zinjibar and Marib, are believed to be under the control of Jihadists. Jihadists want to abolish the country’s secular government and replace it with an Islamist caliphate. Many Jihadists in the southern border have joined forces with their brethren in Saudi Arabia.
Over the last several months, ties between Somali and Yemeni Jihadists have grown stronger and they now threaten oil through the Aden Gulf.
The U.S. hope is that democracy will prevail and reform the Middle East.
So far it shows signs of being ineffective because Yemen’s al-Qaida, the strongest in the region, and their overseeing body, the Brotherhood, continue protests and know this is an opportunity for complete control.
Yemen, ancestral home of bin-Laden, was the adopted home of Al-Awalaki, and is a base for released Guantanamo prisoners who feigned remorse while imprisoned in order to win release.
Yemen, for now, appears to have been reborn as the heart of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.