A MESOP SAMPLER : Gulf-Led Coalition Strikes Against Houthis in Yemen / PRIMARY SOURCES CLICK FOR LINKS AT BOTTOM (STRATFOR et.al.)
Meanwhile, the White House backed (Reuters) the Gulf coalition’s air strikes, providing logistical and intelligence support. President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled (AP) his base in Aden by sea earlier on Wednesday as Houthi forces advanced on the southern city after capturing the airport and a nearby base, officials said. Meanwhile, oil prices surged (NYT) following reports of the Saudi-led campaign and ongoing fighting between Yemeni factions on Thursday.
“Riyadh now has to decide whether the strikes should be designed to prevent the Houthi forces that have conquered most of Yemen from attempting to mount attacks inside the kingdom or to be part of a more expansive military campaign designed to dislodge or significantly degrade the Houthis in the hopes that Yemen’s battered central government can gradually reclaim control of the country,” write Yochi Dreazen and John Hudson in Foreign Policy.
“There is a real risk that the Saudis will keep doubling down in Yemen and in so doing will overstrain themselves—politically, militarily and even economically. The Kingdom cannot afford to get dragged deeper into a Yemeni quagmire it cannot stabilize on its own. This is especially true given the challenges the Kingdom is likely to face from historically low oil prices and exorbitant new financial commitments in an effort to stave off the Arab Spring,” said Kenneth Pollack in his testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services.
“While the al-Houthi movement struggles to manage multiple regional challenges to its north, its rise to power in Yemen is a setback for Saudi Arabia on its southern flank. After the fall of the Yemeni government, Riyadh will have to capitalize on the al-Houthis’ need for political and financial support to re-establish its influence in the country. But because Iran is trying to fill that support gap, too, Yemen has become another battleground where the two sectarian rivals will struggle against one another,” writes Stratfor Global Intelligence.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/03/saudi-ambassador-announces-military-operation-yemen-150325234138956.html / http://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-condemns-saudi-arabias-military-intervention-in-yemen-1427366776 / http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/26/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN0ML0YC20150326 / http://www.brookings.edu/research/testimony/2015/03/24-us-policy-middle-east-pollack / http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/business/energy-environment/oil-prices-jump-as-saudi-and-yemen-fighting-escalates.html?_r=0 / http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/25/saudi-warplanes-hammer-yemen-as-rebels-near-complete-takeover-houthis / https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/saudi-arabia-and-iran-compete-yemen