Yemen: Iran v the US Intramurals

Big Red Car here in drizzly ATX — even when it rains in paradise, it is still paradise, y’all!

On Earth as it is in Texas.

Keep your eye on Yemen, y’all, cause there is trouble brewing. We could shortly find ourselves in a shooting war if we are not careful.

First, let’s make damn sure we know where Yemen is located — no it isn’t south of Buda on the road to San Antone.

Note that the country is now divided between the Houthis — Iranian supernumeraries — and Al Qaeda zones of influence. Both portend ill for the country, the region, the world and the United States.

Note that Yemen is strategically located on the southern end of Saudi Arabia and the strategic port of Aden is part of Yemen. Aden used to be an important port of call for the US Navy. It is now enemy territory.

This graphic shows the efforts of the Saudi air force to bomb both the Houthis, again Iranian proxies and being actively supported by the Iranians, and Al Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia has committed 150,00 troops to the problem which suggests they intend to invade Yemen and to return the deposed ruler, currently in exile in Riyadh.

BIG POINT: This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have gone to war with each other. In 2009, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lost a hundred KIA to skirmishes with the Houthis on the southern Saudi border. They have not forgotten this.

This is a confrontation between the US ally, Saudi Arabia, and the Iranian backed rebels, the Houthis. Al Qaeda is on the sidelines rooting for chaos.

It is getting bigger by the day with Iran sending a couple of warships, the Egyptians (Saudi ally) sending several warships and the US sending an aircraft carrier to hang out in the neighborhood. When that many ships are maneuvering in a small space, there is a lot of potential for escalation, purposeful or accidental. This is how wars start.

In addition to having a very strategic port in Aden, Yemen also has a big oil pipeline terminus which will likely be cut shortly.

Know this — the US is likely to have to support the Saudi offensive (if we are smart and there is considerable evidence to the contrary) against the Iranian backed rebels.

This is both a confrontation between Shia and Sunni as well as an Iran v US shooting match. The same Iran we are pretending to cut a deal with on their nuclear arsenal.

Prediction: This is going to get very ugly. Ugly on an ape!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself this weekend. Sure, the Easter Bunny stiffed you but still!

2 thoughts on “Yemen: Iran v the US Intramurals

  1. This article challenges the extent of the Iranian influence in Yemen. It also suggests that oversimplification of the conflict as being a Sunni vs. Shia grudge match is disingenuous because of non-trivial differences between Zaidis and Iranian Shias.

    Also, have you seen the Frontline documentary entited “The Fight for Yemen?” It’s superb.

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