The great divide in Islam is between the 85 Percent Sunni Muslims and the 15 percent Shia Muslims. They have been fighting since the late 600 AD period over who should have replaced the Prophet after he died. The Shia wanted it to be a hereditary, family member. The Sunni wanted it to be a political leader or Calif. They have been killing each other for the last 1300 plus years over that.
Next, in Yemen we have the Shia sect the Houthis, backed by the Shia Iranians. We have the Sunnis, which includes both Al Qaida and the Saudi Royal House. The Sunni sect that controls Saudi Arabia is also a part of Al Qaida, but Al Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula is in Yemen and wants nothing to do with the Royal House of Saud. The Royal House of Saud made a devil’s bargain with the sect, the Wahabi, in the mid 1700s and hasn’t looked back since. And finally, just to confuse things even more, we now have the Sunni group ISIS, which pretty much kills Shia on sight and hates any other group of Sunni Muslims who haven’t pledged support for ISIS and the new Caliphate they just declared.
The list of people killing each other in Yemen is as follows.
The Saudi backed Sunni groups who are killing any Shia they can get their hands on, especially the Iranian Proxy Houthi Tribal militias.
The Iranian backed Houthi militias, who are killing any Sunni they can get their hands on, whether it is ISIS, Saudi Arabian or any of the Sunni nations supporting the Saudi and Egyptian military campaign.
Next, we have the Sunni Al quaida, especially the Al Quaida of the Arabian Peninsula, who are killing any Shia they can, or any Sunni who hasn’t sworn to them, especially any ISIS forces. Unless of course they are a splinter group who supports ISIS and not the Al Qaida, or the Saudi group the Wahabi Sect.
What we here in the West routinely call “Al Qaida” is a mishmash of competing Sunni groups with differing agendas. Like I said, we have the Royal House of Saud/Wahabi version of Al Qaida. We also have the Al Quida of the Arabian Peninsula version. We have a North African version of Al Qaida, except the Nigerian version of Al Qaida, the Boko Haram group just decided to become part of ISIS. The former Al Qaida of North Africa just split into ISIS supporting factions and Royal House of Saud Wahabi supporting factions. For instance, the group that just attacked in Tunisa, is, as far as I can tell, an ISIS supporting break off of the original Al Qaida group. The group that attacked the Kenyan school, Al Shabab, is a Sunni group linked to the Wahabi Sect in Saudi Arabia. It is now based in Somalia and executes cross border raids into Kenya. The name means “youngsters; more precisely it means “Movement of Striving Youth.” The striving usually involves murdering anybody you think isn’t a good Sunni Muslim.
Throw that all into the pot, stir well, and YOU GET A SHIA/SUNNI/ISIS/AL QAIDA, OF ALL GROUPS, KILLING EACH OTHER WITH THE KIND OF GLEEFUL ABANDON COMMON IN THE MIDDLE EAST FOR THE LAST 1400 YEARS.
I hope that helps, blog readers. <G>