Saudi Arabia Bombs Shiite Rebels In Yemen As US Pledges Support And Continued Drone Strikes
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) March 26, 2015
Though it seems impossible, the Middle East is getting even more chaotic. Yesterday the Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and allies bombed Shiite rebels in Yemen known as the Houthis. The Houthis responded to the bombing with rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Last month the Houthis overthrew the US-backed government of Yemen and currently control the country’s capital, Sana, where much of the Saudi strikes are focused. The US has already evacuated its personnel from the capital, which was a prudent move given that the Houthis have reportedly obtained the intelligence files compiled by the US and previous Yemeni government.
The files should detail, among other things, the targets of the expansive US drone operation in Yemen which famously involved the killing of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his son. The initial focus of the US drone killing campaign in Yemen was Al Qaeda but now may expand even further to include the Houthis. As the US issued a statement applauding Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign and promising assistance:
The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our GCC partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests. In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations. While U.S. forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.
At the same time, the United States continues to closely monitor terrorist threats posed by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and will continue to take action as necessary to disrupt continuing, imminent threats to the United States and our citizens.
The war must go on no matter how destabilizing and counterproductive.
There were already concerns about the accuracy of the drone strikes before the US lost the cooperation of the local government, now the strikes will be based on even worse intelligence. That means more innocents killed with relatives and friends pledging revenge against the United States – rinse and repeat.
Clearly US involvement in the Middle East is exceptional and indispensable.