Yemeni paramilitary police trooper in Sana'a (file)
Yemeni paramilitary police trooper in Sana'a (file)Reuters

Despite the UN envoy's efforts to reach a political solution, the struggle for control by the Iranian backed Houthi Shi'ite militia is only escalating in Yemen after they captured the capital city of Sana'a and toppled the government.

The UN is seeking a solution by which the temporary Houthi parliament will be recognized in exchange for a return of authority to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, who are in house arrest after being ousted by the Houthis.

The London-based Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat paper reports that the tribes in the southern coastal governorates that are rich in oil including Shabwah, Lahij, Abin and Al-Dhala announced they are closing their borders with Bayda district, which was recently captured by the Houthis.

Likewise the tribes in those districts announced they are establishing a popular army meant to stop the advance of the Houthis to the south. They have also threatened to take action against those helping the Houthis.

The terrorist organizations of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS) are also increasing their preparations in the southern and eastern districts of the country so as to help the struggle against the Houthis, who they view as a mutual enemy.

Earlier this month the Houthis established their temporary government, the Supreme Revolutionary Council, in the presidential castle in Sana'a after besieging the previous government in the castle until it disbanded. The Council is advancing processes to hold elections for the national council. 

The Houthis plan first to control the Shabwah, Hadhramaut and Marib Governorates in the south that are rich in oil, with the assessment that doing so will financially base their efforts to complete their control over all of Yemen.

Oil production from those three regions comprises more than 70% of the state budget.

After conquering the three governorates, the Houthis plan to conquer the southern port city of Aden, which controls all access to the Red Sea, and therefore to Eilat and Israel.

Through the Red Sea commerce transverses to Israel and Europe, giving Aden supremely high strategic value.

Iran held a massive naval drill late last December in which it sent war ships near the Yemenite coast, in a clear message signalling the Islamic regime's interests.