Saudi Military Massing at Yemen Border
In case you missed it, Yemen is on the verge of becoming the ground zero of World War III. Saudi Arabia justifiably sees the civil war in neighboring Yemen as a threat to Saudi national security. It all originates with the Iran supported Shi’ite muslims threatening the relative stability of Sunni Muslim monarchies like Saudi Arabia. Imagine the danger Iran will pose when it gets a nuclear weapon:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict.
The slide toward war in Yemen has made the country a crucial front in Saudi Arabia’s region-wide rivalry with Iran, which Riyadh accuses of sowing sectarian strife through its support for the Houthis.
The conflict risks spiraling into a proxy war with Shi’ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere to the Zaydi sect of Shi’ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing [U.S.-supported Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi].
Hadi, who supported Washington’s campaign of deadly drone strikes on a powerful al Qaeda branch based in Yemen, has been holed up in Aden with his loyalist forces since he fled Sanaa in February.
Saudi Arabia faces the risk of the turmoil spilling across its porous 1,800 km (1,100 mile)-long border with Yemen and into its Shi’ite Eastern Province where the kingdom’s richest oil deposits lie.
In March 2011, Saudi troops, along with those from the United Arab Emirates, entered neighboring Bahrain after weeks of protests by that country’s Shi’ite majority that Riyadh feared could lead to an expansion of Iran’s influence.