Since March 2015, Yemen has been the site of a brutal, one-sided war between Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The Houthi rebels overthrew then-Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who many Yemenis perceived as a US puppet, and the Houthi revolution enjoyed considerable public support. However, a Houthi-led government threatened to all, but eradicate Saudi influence in Yemen, propelling the Saudis to begin a vicious bombing campaign that has claimed the lives of over 10,000, the majority of them civilians. The US joined the fray last Thursday after the Pentagon claimed that the US Navy’s USS Mason was the victim of two consecutive missile attacks. The Pentagon said, at the time, that the missiles had been launched by Houthi rebel forces. The USS Nitze retaliated, launching several Tomahawk cruise missiles at radar installations located by the straight of Bab el-Mandab.
Some have suggested that the Pentagon was intentionally misguided into the conflict by nefarious Saudi intervention that sought to draw the US into the war. Indeed, the only logical alternative – that is, if it is proved that the missile attack did not originate in Yemen – is that the Saudis fired the missiles themselves and passed bad “intel” to the US suggesting that the Yemeni rebels were to blame. After all, the Saudis are the ultimate beneficiary of US involvement in the Saudi-Yemen conflict. If this does turn out to be the case, it seems unlikely that the Pentagon will admit it as the alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia has been receiving a lot of bad press lately. Yet, with Iran sending warships to Yemen following the US’ involvement, it’s anyone’s guess how messy this latest intelligence faux pas could get.
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Image Credit: US Navy