Arab States Sent Thousands of Troops into Yemen for Major Showdown with Iran’s Allies

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Published on: August 6, 2015

Saudi Arabia just sent a message to Iran saying, “Yemen is a red line, do not cross it.”

Over the last week, the entire momentum of the war in Yemen has shifted. While, previously, pro-government forces were trapped within the port city of Aden, now, they are pushing the Iranian backed Houthi militia in all directions.

And the situation is escalating. Conflict News reported that a significant development that is “actually occurring is far more remarkable, and strangely almost absent from the media headlines.”

They reported “ships adorned with UAE flags arrived in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden” which “began offloading armored vehicles. This started as small columns of vehicles, which could have conceivable been ‘delivered’ to the pro-government fighters, however has now ballooned into something completely different. Hundreds of vehicles including main battle tanks, APCs, AFVs and self-propelled artillery have landed in the city, and joined the fight against the mainly Shia Houthi militias.

The boots on the ground is estimated at 3,000 troops to aid in the fight against Iranian-backed Houthi forces. 

Gulf-based geopolitical and military analyst Theodore Karasik said the throughput of Saudi-led coalition equipment from sea to land signals more ground offensives ahead to expand the coalition’s gains in and around Aden.

“The equipment is an impressive mix of land force vehicles and support that is meant to give the pro-Hadi forces [loyal to Yemen’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi] a sharp edge,” he said.

Stratfor also confirms: “The deployment of 3,000 ground troops — 1,500 Saudi and Emirati personnel and 1,500 trained Yemenis — with main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles is a notable escalation in the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in Yemen. It is also a sign that Riyadh is willing to take additional casualties.”

But this campaign will not be easy, according to Stratfor: “The Saudi-led coalition undoubtedly has superior logistics, firepower and manpower, and has amassed an impressive modern fighting force. However, the farther the coalition moves from this beachhead into the hostile terrain of Yemen’s mountains, the more exposed they will be to ambushes and counterattacks. Saudi forces took heavy losses in the 2009 war with Yemen, when Riyadh’s offensive operations against the Houthis were staged in the mountains of northern Yemen.”

There was also the capture of the Al-Anad base — once the site of U.S. intelligence operations against al-Qaida’s powerful Yemeni affiliate — was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of the rebels known as Houthis.

Months ago, the Iranian expansion in Yemen in the wake of the control of the Houthis on the reins of power sounded alarm bells at the Gulf states. Yemen is the window to an Iranian incursion into Arabia. Houthi fighters and loyalists of Yemen’s President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi are locked in a power struggle that is now drawing in neighboring Saudi Arabia and its main regional rival Iran into conflict.

Saudi Arabia views Iran as its chief regional rival and considered the expansion of Houthi power in Yemen as a worrisome threat on its doorstep. This conflict between Iran (biblical Elam) and Arabia links to a prophetic message from Isaiah 21, especially with the latest development in Iran’s nuclear advance.

Now that deploying thousands from the gulf military force will further pull Saudi Arabia and other nations directly into Yemen’s conflict, ultimately, the showdown between Iran and Saudi Arabia will escalate dramatically. With the nuclear issue developing in Iran, the writing on the wall becomes simple: while Saudi Arabia makes way into Yemen, in the long run, a showdown between the two is imminent, with Iran the victor while Saudi Arabia becomes toast.


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