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December 20, 2016
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May 29, 2007
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PDF icon CIA-RDP83B01027R000300170026-2.pdf174.87 KB
Approved For Release 2007/05/29: CIA 00300170026-2 25X1 Tnp = Ir! 0 1 r THE YEMENS: THREATENING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA SUMMARY The movement toward unity between North and South Yemen is continuing. North Yemen President Salih reportedly is on the verge of agreeing to include representatives of the insurcnt South Yemen-backed National Democratic Front (Nt,,') in the government of the North. Soviet military aid and influence in the North continues to grow. Salih seems to be moving toward a clear break with Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and there appears little prospect that he will reverse the course that seems headed toward bringing North Yemen under control of the Soviet-backed Marxist regime in Aden. Indeed, SaZih may no longer hove the power to halt the slide even if he were to become no inclined. Moreover, there have been numerous reports of increased shipments of Soviet military aid to South Yemen and -he presence of Cuban combat troops there. Those repo rt.i have not as yet been confirmed, but if they are true 4-hey suggest youth Yemen may be preparing to attempt t. influence North Yemeni political direction either through inti- midation or small-scale military incursion along 25X1 common border. F_ I Salih's Slide Toward Moscow Recent reports of impending governmental changes in Sana indicate a further purge of pro-Saudi elements. ;alih apparently plans to reiy,ttO Prime Minister Abd Al Chani, a relative moderate, to ti powerless vice presi- cency. Last month Interior ?fiir: er, Khamis, another moderate, was demoted, while z influence of Foreign sinister Makki--a pro-Soviet--- -::iarently has increased c late. The removal and of moderates has made Ealih more responsive to the 3c ,ures from the left and the USSR. Reportedly Salih !en seeing the Soviet ambassador as often as twice w-_--k. If access implies influence, Soviet influence i -i Sa;-ra is becoming considerable. Moscow has encouraged Salih to include NDF officials in his government and is reportedl y pleased with which has been made thus far. 25 1 25 1 TOP SECRET Approved For Release 2007/05/29: CIA- 0300170026-2 TOPSECRET 25X1 25X1 The growth of Soviet influence is further indicated by Sana's failure to support the U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This is particularly significant because of North Yemen's traditional tendency to go along with the mainstream of Arab opinion. We do not know the position taken by 25X1 North Yemen at the Islamabad conference in late January. The fact that a relatively low-level delegation was sent, however, suggests an effort to avoid identification with the anticipated resolution condemning the Soviets. Salih's :silence on Afghanistan can only add to the deterioration of relations with the Saudis.r~7_ 25X1 25X1 2 TOPSECP Approved For Release 2007/05/29: CIA- R000300170026-2 STOP SECRE scheduled rotation back to Co'~a, could wodl be connected attributed to requirements of 'hp Ogaden situation and Recent Cuban troop movemerts `:within Ethiopia, w e incursion into North Yemen. In each casEjtae Cuba mission was to bolster security in the Aden area. 0 If these reports about the flight activity 25X1 are true, the flights probably ,1ld not originate in the Soviet Union. The distance involved, the necessity to utilize overflight rights anc co:aily with international flight rules would have resulted in detection by US intelligence assets. The mon t r.,.'-obable point of origin or this ivi.ty is :Fthir:ois. In the past, Cuban forces have been airlifted fron+ there to South Yemen, first in 1978 at the time of Iezru i1's take(?-er and sub- sequently during the February/March 1979 S&''ath Yemen with the numerous clandestine ar.+. press reports of in- creased Cuban presence in So'-. th ",-men- 3 TOP SECRI 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2007/05/29: CIA-RDP83B01027R000300170026-2 ?TOP 25X1 25X1 Despite Salih's apparent willingness to ive NDFr g a role in the Sana government- , '.' F is taking separate measures to improve its position in the North including; 1) increasing its arms stockpiles, 2) upgrading its capability for potential military operations, and 3) con- solidating and expanding its political network in areas previously distant to NDF influence but where currently there is dissaffection with Salih's rorimn 2X1 Moscow's View In the environment created by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with its increaved potential for US- Soviet military confrontation in the Persian Gulf area the Soviets probably attach increased importance to their enterprise in the Yecncr-s. They would be expected to exploit Sana's leftward sift and in the process to counter Us basing initiatives in the region by increasing Soviet presence. Moscow's a_cision to step-up its acti- vities is aimed at promoting t-.:? erosion of Western influence on the Arabian Peninsul;i. The e odence--albeit tenuous--of a covert step-up of rr litary a.ts_ivity at the iden airfield, together with tY-? ndicat_*~5 n3 that the :'outh Yemeni-backed National cratic P'. c>lt continues r.i_litary preparations even they ma.;i gxai.n positions in the North Yemen governmer-, :ggest that if the present reunification negotiations f 1.. i_o achieve the results fought by Aden and Moscow, (c.- L not move fast enough) the latter would be prepared --o ...sort to a combination of subversion and military F77 I 25X1 4 TOPSECR;7