A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Kingdom Strikes Back: Going After the Houthis

I decided not to blog last night on the reports of Saudi air strikes inside Yemen; the Saudis aree now saying that they are only bombing inside Saudi territory. In any event, it seems clear that the Saudis are now serious about joining in the fight against the Houthis. The Saudi media, in fact, seems to be doing something akin to wartime propaganda, which is rather unusual for the Kingdom.

So the Houthis now find themselves between a Yemeni hammer and a Saudi anvil, and the Saudis are using their Air Force, which is much superior to Yemen's, at least on the Saudi side of the border. (The Houthis charge the Saudis have bombed inside Yemen.)

It's likely to get interesting. Unless you're a Houthi.

1 comment:

LJ Marczak said...

One subtext that also bears watching is the emerging strong anti-Iranian element.

A 5 November Al Watan headline about the cross border attack "Iranian agents threaten our southern borders".

There was a companion article about the "Iranian Role Against the Kingdom Intensifying" - an interview with a member of Mr. Harriri's party from Beirut.

Same day AlWatan ran an article Dr. Jihad Awda - an Egyptian strategy specialist -- outlining seven clear signs of Iranian meddling in the region.

An Eritrean opposition leader got widespread coverage in the Arabic press with accusations that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was running a training camp for AlHuthis in Eritrea and infiltrating men and equipment via small boats to a port in Yemen.

That was followed the next day by an article about how the Yemeni Govt had wisely refused to let Iran make some investments in the area, though that good news was coupled with the dire news that Yemenis thought to be favorable to the Huthi movement were buying land there.

And just yesterday or the day before both Nilesat and Arabsat "dropped" AlAlam (Iran's Arabic language station) ostensibly due to non payment of broadcast fees.