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Saudis Preparing For Ground Invasion Of Yemen As Airstrike Hits Refugee Camp

The war in Yemen has escalated with Saudi troops massing on the border preparing to invade the country to put down the Shiite Houthis rebellion that ousted Yemen’s previous president. Egypt has also raised the possibility of sending ground troops into Yemen.

The operation to drive the Houthis out of power in Yemen has split the Arab world. Shiite Iraq and Lebanon have begged off military action while the Sunni dominated countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates support going forward. Regardless of support, the Saudis appear determined to take Yemen back for the ousted Sunni president and view the conflict as part of a larger struggle with Iran for influence in the region.

The bombing campaign has already escalated with a refugee camp being hit with an estimated 40 people dead and 200 wounded. The attack appears to have been a mistake with the correct target being a nearby Houthis base.

An air strike killed at least 40 people at a camp for displaced people in north Yemen on Monday, humanitarian workers said, in an attack which apparently targeted a nearby base for Houthi fighters battling President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Yemen’s state news agency Saba, which is under the control of the Houthis, said the camp at Haradh was hit by Saudi planes.

It said the dead included women and children, and showed the bodies of five children laid out on a blood-streaked floor. Hadi’s Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin blamed Houthi artillery for the explosion at the camp near Haradh. Saudi military officials were not immediately available for comment.

The civilian causalities at the refugee camp may just be the beginning of the death count as an invading force from Saudi Arabia or Egypt is unlikely to observe any of the laws of war or restrain its use of munitions on humanitarian grounds – millions of people will be stuck in the cross-fire.

The sectarian war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims unleashed in part by the 2003 US invasion of Iraq has grown into a region-wide bloodbath with little hope of resolving itself peacefully.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.