Less than an hour ago the Saudi Arabian government announced that Operation Decisive Storm, the boldly named bombing campaign against the Yemeni Houthi forces, has ended. According to the Saudis, the operation has achieved its military goals, and will be followed up by an effort to facilitate political dialogue in Yemen. This is true, but only if by “achieving military goals” they mean “failing to achieve anything”. Continue reading
A week ago on this blog I wrote: “There is simply not a strong enough interest for the US, Arab League or Iran to want to protect in Yemen or Libya.” Turns out I was completely wrong. Over the last few days Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition in airstrikes on the Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen. Planes from nine Arab countries have been involved, Egypt, Jordan and even Sudan are prepared to commit troops to a ground offensive, and the US is providing intelligence. So what are the short-term and long-term aims of this attack? Will it be successful? And why did I get things so wrong?