Saturday, November 07, 2015

We Know They're Evil. How Much of an Axis are They?

Will Putin expand his alliance with Iran to a serious effort to bolster the pro-Iran side in the Yemen civil war?

The Saudi-Iranian struggle in Yemen continues to tilt Saudi Arabia's way as Saudi Arabia builds a ground coalition to stiffen their side in the Yemen civil war:

Most of the pro-government forces in Yemen are tribal militias. The Yemeni military has fallen apart since the unrest began in 2011. ...

The Arab coalition offers some brief training for these volunteers, if only to improve communications and help prevent friendly fire, but some tribesmen refuse the training and are allowed to join the fight anyway. The Arab coalition has also persuaded (with cash and other favors) three more African nations (Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan) to send troops to join the coalition. Most of these (about 12,000) will come from Sudan. Eritrea is sending about 400 troops and Somalia is sending a token number of troops but is mainly allowing the Arab coalition to use Somali territory and air space The coalition needs more professional (and disciplined) troops to augment the often undependable and unpredictable tribal militias. Senegal has already agreed to send about two thousand troops. The Sudanese forces have been arriving over the last few weeks and are apparently already in action in Ibb and nearby provinces.

Plus the Gulf Arab states have contributed a heavy brigade.

I'm kind of surprised that Saudi Arabia hasn't been able to leverage Egyptian help, considering the money the Saudis send to Egypt.

The Russians are at least trying to help the Iran-backed Houthis with basic logistics (if they are telling the truth) or weapons (if not):

Russia on Thursday sent a plane to rebel-controlled Yemen carrying what Moscow said was more than 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid for the conflict-torn country.

Russia's emergencies ministry said the Il-76 transported "23 tonnes of humanitarian aid" including food and tents to Yemen's capital Sanaa.

The Arab coalition may be willing to halt Iranian efforts to resupply the pro-Iran side in Yemen, but I doubt they'd confront Russia.

So how long before Russia just sends supplies--weapons and all--by sea to support their ally Iran in Yemen?

Heck, perhaps Cuba gets involved in Yemen and we get a full-blown Axis of Reset!

UPDATE: The Houthis have clawed back some ground:

Yemen's Iran-backed rebels have regained several positions lost in recent months across the country's south, in a fresh push towards the Gulf-backed government's temporary headquarters in port city Aden, military sources said Sunday.

Perhaps when the main Saudi-led mobile force is back in action, their offensive will resume:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will rotate the forces that it currently has deployed in Yemen, the country's official WAM news agency reported on 2 November.

"The General Command of the UAE's Armed Forces has said the first batch of its brave soldiers will return to the homeland after being replaced with the second force," it said. It credited the first force with securing the city of Marib and the nearby Marib Dam.

The war goes on.