Tales of Successful Military Interventions: Yemen

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the coalition it bought assembled from other like-minded altrustic nations began bombing Houthi and Saleh-allied forces in Yemen on March 25. At the time, the map of Yemen looked like this:

Source: Wikipedia via Stratfor
Source: Wikipedia via Stratfor

Today, after a good two weeks of sustained bombing, the map of Yemen looks something like this:

Source: Stratfor
Source: Stratfor

Which means that two weeks of airstrikes meant to weaken and drive back the Houthi army in order to force them into some kind of peace deal with President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have seen the Houthis actually push further south to the point where they’re currently engaged in “intense” fighting against Hadi’s loyalist forces in the only major city Hadi still controls, Aden. They’ve also apparently taken the city of Ataq, to the east, which puts them within striking distance of Yemen’s economically crucial natural gas port at Balhaf. Oh, plus they captured the Yemeni army base on the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which is strategically placed at a bottleneck in the Red Sea where it meets the Gulf of Aden and on to the Arabian Sea. And, hey, Al Qaeda has taken the opportunity to help itself to some new territory as well. So, hearty congrats to the Saudis for further immiserating lots of people to no end whatsoever.

The airstrikes have always been a prelude to a Saudi-Egyptian ground invasion, which looks more likely now than ever, although if they were planning on landing troops along Yemen’s southern coast they seem to be running out of available places to do that.

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