Saudi-Iran Cold War Likely to Turn Hot over Yemen

The saber-rattling between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the trajectory of Yemen has escalated to dangerous levels, especially after Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri – the spokesperson for the Saudi military – warned Iranian warships to steer clear of Yemeni territorial waters. This comes at a time when Iran has increased its support for the Houthi militants as well as embedded elements of the Quds Force within the Houthi military command chain.

Iran intends to deploy the 34th Flotilla of the Iranian Navy to the Gulf of Aden in anticipation of the Houthi takeover of the port city of Aden. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of training and arming Shiite militiamen in Yemen, and considers the deployment of elements of the Iranian Navy as a new-fangled escalation of the Yemeni conflict.

The Saudi air force has bombed Houthi positions in Sanaa and the outlying areas in Northern Yemen; besides dominating the Yemeni airspace with the intent of denying the same to the Iranian military and its Houthi allies. The Saudi air force has also been credited with destroying the nascent Houthi air force before any of the planes could get off the ground.

Saudi intelligence sources have confirmed that the Saudi military will destroy elements of the Iranian revolutionary guards corps that they find on Yemeni soil. The Iranians have promised retribution in case any of their military personnel is killed or harmed by Saudi forces.

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