A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Saudi Arabia Strikes in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, traditionally the epitome of caution when it comes to military action, appears to be committing to a full-scale intervention against the Houthis in Yemen, with air strikes and a reported ground force commitment of 150,000 men, and with Pakistan, Egypt, and the other GCC states offering to assist.

Reports from (pro-Saudi) Al-Arabiya, all unconfirmed:

Saudi Arabia has deployed on Thursday 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units after it launched its operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
The Saudi aerial deployment enabled the Royal Saudi Air Force to be in control of Yemen’s space early Thursday.
Reports also emerged that top Houthi leadership including Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi, Yousuf al-Madani, Yousuf al-Fishi were killed and head of the Revolutionary Committee for the Houthis, Mohammed Ali al-Hothi, was wounded.
Pakistan and Egypt announced their participation in the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against with air and naval forces, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
Al Arabiya said Egypt, Pakistan and Sudan have also expressed their readiness to contribute ground troops in the campaign.
The UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan have also deployed fighter jets to join the Saudi air force in the ongoing air campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Al Arabiya News Chanel reported.
The UAE has deployed 30 fighter jets, Bahrain 15, Kuwait 15, Qatar 10 and Jordan 6 warplanes, according to the news channel.
This would appear to be a more direct intervention outside the Kingdom's boundaries than any Saudi action since support for royalist forces in Yemen during the civil war of the 1960s.

Another civil war just was internationalized. I'll have more to say as we learn more.

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