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The Arab World and Western IntelligenceAnalysing the Middle East, 1956-1981$
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Dina Rezk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748698912

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698912.001.0001

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Civil War in Yemen

Civil War in Yemen

(p.137) 5 Civil War in Yemen
The Arab World and Western Intelligence

Dina Rezk

Edinburgh University Press

In September 1962, a group of army officers led by Colonel Abdullah al Sallal overthrew the Hamid’Ud’Din royal family in Yemen. The coup provided just the occasion for Nasser to re-establish his credibility abroad as the vanguard of Arab revolution. Nasser immediately sent Egyptian troops to bolster the republican revolutionaries led by Sallal. They began a guerrilla war against royalist forces loyal to the deposed Imamate which was propped up by Saudi Arabia and the British. The Yemeni conflict quickly became a proxy war between these rival interests, causing a rift in the Anglo-American alliance and symbolising the division between ‘traditional’ dynasties against the ‘progressive’ republics in the Arab world. Analysts recognised that Nasser had no blueprint or master plan for revolution in Yemen and that he had underestimated the commitment the conflict would entail. Bound by his ‘face’ as the leader of Arab revolution, he was compelled to maintain support for the republicans despite the unassailable stalemate that ensued. Nevertheless, Nasser’s determination to capitalise on the protracted British withdrawal from Aden led to a revival of widespread hostility towards the nationalist.

Keywords:   Nasser, Yemen, Aden, Republicans, Royalists, Sallal

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