The Smoldering Powder Keg in Yemen

The Smoldering Powder Keg in Yemen

The situation in Yemen remains volatile. Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Arab allies launched Operation Decisive Storm on 25 March 2015 in response to the Houthi rebel overthrow of the Hadi led government in Yemen. The Houthi’s, a Shiite based insurgency, are directly supported by Iran. With Iran conducting a regional power-play in Iraq and Syria, adding Yemen to its sphere of influence would further expand its reach into the Arabian Peninsula and gain a significant foothold on the Red Sea-Gulf of Aden and choke hold the Mandeb Strait.

Saudi F-15's

Saudi and coalition military operations have largely consisted of air strikes against Houthi rebel positions, as well as the deployment of naval forces to deter/engage Iranian vessels sailing to Yemen in support of Houthi operations. The United States has committed a limited role in support of the Saudi Arabian operation, deploying the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy to prevent Iranian vessels from resupplying the Houthi rebels. There have been reports of Arab coalition ground forces conducting operations in Yemen, although the Saudi coalition has denied the deployment of regular ground forces into Yemen as of this date.rtr3aztw

saudi-arabia-armyThere have been cross-border clashes on the Saudi-Yemen border, with Houthi rebels firing rockets and mortars into Saudi Arabian villages and cities. As of this report, 5 May 2015, the Saudi Arabian city of Najran has come under direct fire from rocket attacks, resulting in the deaths 3 civilians. There are also reports that a cross-border raid by Houthi rebels in the same region captured 5 Saudi Arabian soldiers, although those reports have not been verified by Saudi Arabian government officials. With the increased border clashes the possibility of the deployment of ground troops continues to rise exponentially.

About The Author

Kyle is a Military Historian and Managing Editor at Strategy & Tactics Press. A fourth-generation combat Veteran, Kyle retired from the United States Army in 2010. He specializes in military operations from 1945-Present and has written extensively regarding the future of asymmetrical warfare.

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