Maps from this past week show the latest movement in Yemen, Libya, and Somalia and activity by Salafi-jihadi operatives in the region.
This week's takeaways are:
- Yemeni military forces that had been loyal to the late former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh switched sides to join a Saudi-led coalition offensive in western Yemen. The Emirati-backed operation aims to seize al Hudaydah port in order to encircle Sana’a and compel the al Houthi movement to surrender. The fracturing of the al Houthi-Saleh block will enable the Saudi-led coalition to make gains along the western coastline. These gains, including the seizure of al Hudaydah port, will not be sufficient to collapse the al Houthi movement in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The breakup of Saleh’s network will also destabilize northern Yemen, as factions split over support for the al Houthi movement and vie to position themselves in the post-Saleh era.
- Renewed civil war is growing more likely in Libya as preparations for presidential and parliamentary elections begin. Supporters of would-be strongman Khalifa Haftar vandalized polling stations, foreshadowing Haftar’s role in a possible military challenge to Libya’s democratic transition if a peace agreement is not reached.