Yemen: Houthi rebels nearing Aden; will Saudis intervene?

Yemen: Houthi rebels nearing Aden; will Saudis intervene?
Taiz, Yemen. (Image: EPA via WSJ)

[Ed. – Maybe the Saudis will back an armed fight.  But being maneuvered into some kind of grand bargain with Iran is more likely, in this part of the world.  Look for the Russians to become players on the quiet.]

Houthi forces battled their way southward toward the strategic city of Aden on Tuesday, heightening the prospect of outside military intervention by Saudi Arabia to protect the country’s embattled president.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is holed up in Aden, where he has been attempting to rally domestic and foreign support for his efforts to retake control of the capital San’a from the Houthis. He has urged Saudi Arabia, the regional powerhouse, to come to his aid against the Iranian-backed Houthis, Saudi media reported Monday.

Houthi fighters pushed into the southern provinces of al-Dali and Lahij on Tuesday after entering Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, two days earlier. Military officials said the Houthis have received the support of local forces loyal to Mr. Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who led Yemen for more than two decades until he was forced to leave office in 2012. …

In response to Mr. Hadi’s reported invitation for outside military intervention, Prince Saudi Al Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said that if Yemen’s political and security crisis didn’t end quickly, “we will take the necessary measures for this crisis to protect the region.”

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