On Tuesday, we suggested that the entry of Houthi rebels into a military base overlooking the Bab el-Mandeb strait may have made a Saudi ground incursion in Yemen virtually inevitable. The 18-mile wide waterway is a critical oil chokepoint and given the potential for the conflict in Yemen to devolve into an all out proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the possibility that the strait will fall under Iranian influence via the Houthis is seen as untenable. Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition continued bombing raids for a sixth consecutive day and predictably, each side is now blaming the other for civilian casualties. Here’s more via Al Arabiya:
The coalition targeted two Houthi military installations in the city of al-Dhale southwest of Yemen.
Fighter jets have targeted Houthi militia leaders, surface-to-air missile installations, ammunition storage warehouses belonging to the Houthis as well as to forces allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In Aden, the strikes were focused on the rebel-held provincial administration complex in Dar Saad in the north of the city, reported AFP citing a military official.
He said there were “many dead and wounded” among the Houthi Shiite rebels but was unable to give a precise toll.
The headquarters of a renegade army brigade loyal to Saleh was targeted overnight in the north of Aden, as well as the city’s international airport, the military official said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 04/01/2015.