Event Report: Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen: Unraveling Yemen’s Future Amidst Trade Routes and Conflict

Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen: Unraveling Yemen’s Future Amidst Trade Routes and Conflict


This discussion explores the India-Middle East-EU trade route against the backdrop of regional conflicts and competing interests in the Bab al-Mandab Strait. The panelists address the potential impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict on negotiations between the Houthi rebels and the Saudis and the growing Houthi threat to maritime security in the Red Sea. We delve into the potential impact of the recent development on the conflict in Yemen and the prospects for lasting peace and sustainable development. 




  •     Sami Hamdi, Managing Director of The International Interest. 
  •     Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations, Founder and President of HyphenPoint LLC   


Moderated by: 

  •     Marwa Ghumrawi, WCYS Operations and Communications Manager. 


Date of Broadcast: Dec 14, 2023 


This discussion was hosted by The Washington Center for Yemeni Studies in collaboration with the National Council on US-Arab Relations.


Deeper Dive into the Discussion between Colonel Abbas Dahouk and Sami Hamdi:


The Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen discussion with Colonel Abbas Dahouk and Sami Hamdi offers a rich tapestry of insights into the evolving dynamics of the Yemen conflict, highlighting recurring themes and emerging challenges. 


Here are some key takeaways:


Recurring Themes:


Houthi Power and Iranian Influence: The Houthis remain a dominant force in Yemen, heavily influenced by Iran, and possess advanced weaponry like ballistic missiles and drones. This poses a security challenge and fuels regional tensions.


International Involvement: The international community’s role has shifted. Initially, the US avoided involvement, leaving Saudi Arabia to lead the Coalition against the Houthis. Now, the US is forming a maritime Coalition, Task Force 153, while Saudi Arabia is hesitant to join due to the fragile truce.


Economic Impact: Both Houthi actions and the conflict itself have significant economic consequences. Disruptions to trade, maritime activities, and infrastructure damage worsen the humanitarian crisis and hinder recovery.


Emerging Challenges:


Shifting Dynamics: While the conflict’s core issues remain, the dynamics are changing. The truce has eased tensions, but the Houthis’ strategic disruptions and Iran’s ongoing support complicate the path to peace.


Trade Routes and Regional Interests: The emergence of alternative trade routes, like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Middle East Corridor, and the strategic importance of the Bab al-Mandab Strait are fueling competition and influencing international involvement.


Normalization Talks and Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement: The ongoing normalization talks between Israel and some Arab states and the tentative Saudi-Iranian rapprochement present both opportunities and complications for resolving the Yemen conflict.


Discussion Highlights:


  •     The importance of recognizing the internal complexities of Yemen beyond the simplistic narrative of Houthis vs. Saudi Arabia.
  •     The strategic motives behind the Houthis’ disruption of maritime trade and its implications for regional economic stability and international security.
  •     The potential for alternative trade routes to reshape regional dynamics and influence the Yemen conflict’s resolution.
  •     The challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving Saudi-Iranian relationship and the ongoing normalization talks.
  •     The need for a Yemeni-led solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict and integrates all parties.




The discussion on the Yemen conflict reveals a complex web of regional and international interests, shifting dynamics, and emerging challenges. While there are signs of progress, like the truce and diplomatic efforts, the path to a lasting peace remains uncertain. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of the conflict and fostering inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders are crucial steps towards a stable and prosperous Yemen.


For comprehensive insights, access the full discussion via the link below.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Most Popular

Follow Us

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up to be the first to hear about News & Publication releases!