What Awaits Yemen After Hodeida?

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In the second part of a Cipher Brief two-part series on the significant implications of the battle for Hodeida, Cipher Brief Expert Norm Roule, who is also the ODNI’s former National Intelligence Manager for Iran, shares his secrets for understanding how today’s actions are influenced by the past and how that understanding may shape the future.

The Battle of Hodeida is underway in force.  Coalition forces now control a strip of territory along the Red Sea coast and most of Hodeida airport.  These are important successes, but the combination of Coalition unwillingness to risk civilian casualties, the dense urban fighting environment, and the importance of the port city to the Houthis, means that expulsion of Houthi forces will take time, although control of the airport and port itself will likely be achieved soon.  It remains an open question whether the operation will achieve the Coalition’s ultimate goal of forcing the Houthis to return to the negotiating table with the legitimate Yemeni government.

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