Saudi Arabia’s big gamble in Yemen

Another round of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes against Shiite rebels in Yemen shows Saudi Arabia’s push to take control over the unraveling situation, experts tell


Fred Fleitz and James Phillips told the crisis in Yemen has put the Saudis and their allies on alert.


“The Saudis see a very dangerous situation — there are the Houthi rebels, who are a Shiite group which may be becoming an Iranian proxy, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most dangerous Al Qaeda franchise … there is a question over whether they can get together an Arab coalition willing to send in ground troops,” said Fleitz, senior vice president with the Center for Security Policy.


“We’ve seen a slow motion civil war there for many years and now the pace is accelerating … Yemen is really dissolving into a kaleidoscope of conflicting factions,” said Phillips, senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation.


Foreign policy analysts believe the Saudis will steadily increase their role in Yemen over fears Iran might try to move into the region.


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