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Fighting between the leading Yemeni Hashed tribe and security forces erupted in Sanna. Tribal fighters were taking over government buildings in the capital, as dozens were reported to be killed.

The most intense fighting was in the Hasaba district, close to the residence of Sadiq al-Ahmar, leader of the powerful tribe.

 

In other incidents, security forces reportedly shot dead dozens of anti-government protesters across Yemen, including in Yemen's second-largest city, Taiz. According to reports received by the UN, more than 50 protesters have been killed in Taiz in the past week.

 

The air attacks by the military appear to be in response to the takeover of various locations by hundreds of alleged Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters and an overnight ambush that killed at least six Yemeni soldiers and injured dozens more.

 

Opposition leaders have accused Saleh of deliberately allowing Zinjibar, near a sea lane where about three million barrels of oil pass daily, to fall to AQAP in a bid to show how chaotic Yemen would be without him.

 

Meanwhile, efforts by GCC states to broker a deal between the opposition and Saleh have failed.

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

Yemen appears to have fallen into civil war, and the country is at a risk of being divided, not necessarily along the former north-south border. This eventually has been predicted by Political Capital should a solution to the crisis was not found swiftly.

 

Saleh has managed to stay in power since the eruption of the anti-regime protests over three months ago, as a result of the tacit approval of Saudi Arabia. However, with the eruption of fighting with the Hashed tribe, which is close to the Saudi government, Saudi Arabia appears more willing to abandon Saleh.

 

With the security situation in the country apparently out of control, various elements will likely take control of different areas. AQAP are understood to have already strengthened their positions and have taken over strategic locations. With the country now essentially breaking-up, there is an even larger likelihood of the south seceding. If this happens, the economic impact on the whole of the country, especially the north will be detrimental. The south is home to over a third of the country’s dwindling oil reserves and the pipelines carrying the Liquified Natural Gas pass through territories that may well break-away.

 

The overall assessment for Yemen is that the country will experience turmoil on the political, economic and security fronts, with a potentially significant impact on their neighbours.