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Reporting from Cairo - Saudi Arabian warplanes attacked Shiite rebel strongholds in northern Yemen on Thursday in a surge of fighting along the border that followed the death of a Saudi security official at the hands of insurgents, according to news reports.
Saudi fighter jets targeted as many as six rebel positions in Yemen and along the mountainous border. Saudi troops reportedly were heading toward the region to secure villages and prevent further cross-border incursions by Houthi rebel forces, which have been sporadically battling the Yemeni government since 2004.
Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, is attracting militants from Al Qaeda who seek to overthrow the government and launch attacks across the Middle East, U.S. officials say. The Saudis fear that Al Qaeda elements will exploit Yemen's instability to infiltrate the kingdom and attack government targets and oil installations.
Yemen denied any military action by Saudi Arabia inside its borders. But Yemen's president is a key ally of the Saudis, making it highly unlikely the kingdom would have launched the offensive without tacit Yemeni agreement.
A U.S. government official said the Yemenis were not involved militarily in the fighting. The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The offensive immediately raised concerns of another proxy war in the Middle East between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally. Shiite Iran is believed to favor the rebels in Yemen while Saudi Arabia, which is Sunni, is Iran's fiercest regional rival.
The same dynamic has played out in various forms in Lebanon, where Iran supports the Shiite militant Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia favors a U.S.-backed faction, and in Iraq, where Saudi Arabia and Iran have thrown support to conflicting sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle.
Saudi jets and ground forces have carried out more raids against Yemeni Houthi fighters, the government has said.
The operations were to "neutralise the firing by intruders" and to clear areas where they had encroached on Saudi territory, the government said in a statement on the official SPA news agency on Friday.
Originally posted by ModernAcademia
reply to post by SLAYER69
I think that both Yemen and Sudan have a worse fate than Iran or Iraq.
Yemen because it's the most poorest country in the arab world and Sudan because it's the most extreme in the religious arab world.
And i'm not surprised that the Saudis are letting Israel use their airspace.
I'm sure the U.S. sent some $$$$$$ to the saudis on Israel's behalf.
Anything for $$$$
Yemen's government has confirmed reports its coast guard has seized an Iranian ship with arms it says were destined for Yemeni rebels. Iranian media counters the Yemeni government is using al-Qaida in its war against the Shi'ite rebels.
Yemen's Interior Ministry says it is questioning five Iranians found aboard a ship captured earlier this week off Yemen's western coast.
Originally posted by dooper
Iran is well studied in the teachings of Sun Tzu.
Create as many diversions as possible to take folks eyes off what you're really doing.
Originally posted by mmiichael
With my workload and keeping up with the torrent of news I stopped keeping links. But know from couple sources Iran is active in Yemen.
Not sure all the details, but Yemen is a bargain basement sizable country bordering with Saudi Arabia that can be bought off easily.
This is part of Iran's strategy to keep the Saudis at a disadvantage having to protect themselves on all sides.
Both the Saudis and Iranians are seeing a showdown in the near future. Neither wants a direct confrontation. Iran likes to pick away making small but steady gains.
The Saudis are looking to become autonomous as far as self-defense. Yemen may be their first test skirmish.
Originally posted by Aeons
Saudi has got all those nice air force planes just sitting around, getting dusty, waiting to blow # up.
Iran might have a nice big Army, but it won't matter if they get carpet bombed into a crater while on the move. Iran's army is best used against....Iranians apparently.