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Yemen update 11/13\2015.. Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam

Friday, November 13, 2015 21:36
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(Before It's News)

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Yemen is turning into Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam – The Washington Post

Eight months after launching a war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia appears trapped
in a protracted and devastating conflict that is straining relations
with its allies, intensifying internal power struggles and emboldening
its regional rival, Iran, analysts say.

Since March, the
key U.S. ally has led a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab countries and
Yemeni fighters in a military campaign to drive out Iranian-aligned
rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, and swaths of the Arabian
Peninsula country.

But the coalition appears increasingly hobbled by divisions and unable to find a face-saving way to end the costly conflict.


rebels, known as Houthis, still control much of Yemen’s north. And in
southern areas where the coalition has driven them out, lawlessness has spread as attacks linked to an Islamic State affiliate wreak havoc.

war is draining the Saudis militarily, politically, strategically,”
said Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemen analyst at the Beirut-based Carnegie
Middle East Center. “The problem is, they’re stuck there.”

Arabia is the region’s Sunni Muslim powerhouse and fears that Shiite
Iran is using the Houthis, who are also Shiite, as proxies in Yemen.

rebels toppled the Yemeni government in February, forcing President
Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition
— which includes Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — responded with
airstrikes and then a ground ­offensive in an effort to return Hadi’s
government to power.

Speaking by telephone, Brig. Gen. Ahmed
Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said it “is too early
to make judgments” about the campaign.

But as the conflict drags
on, mounting civilian casualties and a worsening humanitarian crisis
have drawn criticism from international rights groups and lawmakers in
the United States, an arms supplier for the key oil producer. More than
5,400 people have been killed since the intervention began, and U.N.
officials warn of famine in the desperately poor country of 25 million

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called for an investigation into whether the use of British weapons sold to Saudi Arabia had violated international law.


In October, 13 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama
calling on the administration to work with Saudi Arabia “to protect
innocent lives and reduce the potential for backlash against U.S.

The United States has provided logistical and
intelligence assistance to the Saudis in their campaign in Yemen. U.S.
intelligence officials have expressed concern that the conflict has
strengthened Yemen’s al-Qaeda affiliate.

The United States has
also expressed concern about the civilian toll but has refrained from
directly criticizing Saudi Arabia for its attacks, including one on the
Yemeni port city of Mokha that killed 65 people in July.

United States has no role in targeting decisions made by the coalition
in Yemen,” the National Security Council said in a statement last month.


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