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World View: In Major Yemen War Escalation, Qatar is Deploying 1,000 Ground Troops

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen suffers its deadliest day
  • In major escalation in Yemen war, Qatar is sending 1,000 troops
  • Britain’s RAF drones target and kill British nationals in Syria

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen suffers its deadliest day

A man inspects the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi airstrike in Sanaa on Monday (AP)
A man inspects the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi airstrike in Sanaa on Monday (AP)

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is just ending three days of mourning as more than 45 soldiers from UAE, 5 from Bahrain and 10 from Saudi Arabia were killed in Yemen on Friday, in the deadliest day so far for Saudi-led military campaign against Houthis in Yemen. A Houthi missile attack hit an ammunition dump about 120 kilometers east the capital city Sanaa, killing the soldiers.

The Iranian-backed Shia ethnic Houthi militias seized Sanaa last September, forcing the president Saudi-backed Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to flee to the south to the port city of Aden, Yemen’s second largest city. The Houthi militias then swept south, first capturing Taiz, the third largest city, and continuing to the south to Aden. Hadi was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia as a government in exile.

A Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in Yemen on March 26. At that time, the Saudis announced that they expected to defeat the Houthis without any Saudi ground troops, although UAE ground troops have been deployed. There have been occasional reports of Saudi troops in Yemen, but they have all been denied. The announcement that Saudi and other coalition troops were killed in Yemen on Friday is significant not only because of the casualties, but also because it’s the first open admission that there have been Saudi troops fighting in Yemen.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have pledged to quickly avenge the deaths of their soldiers. Both Saudi and UAE warplanes pounded Houthi targets with heavy airstrikes over the weekend.

According to one UAE official, “They were Emirati and Arab heroes as well… The martyrdom of our servicemen in Yemen is a symbol of sacrifice and reflects our high values that call for solidarity with Arab brothers.” VOA and Gulf News and Emirates 24/7

In major escalation in Yemen war, Qatar is sending 1,000 troops

In what is described as a major escalation in the war in Yemen, Qatar is significantly increasing its involvement in the war by deploying about 1,000 ground troops backed by armored vehicles and Apache helicopters. The crown prince of Abu Dhabi announced the deployment, and related it to the deaths of dozens of coalition soldiers on Friday, highlighted with nationalism and xenophobia:

Our armed forces … are more resolved and determined to liberate Yemen and flush out the scum after the tragic incident.

Although Qatar has taken part in the air campaign, this will be the first time that Qatari troops have entered Yemen. Al Jazeera and Gulf News and Reuters

Britain’s RAF drones target and kill British nationals in Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that Royal Air Force (RAF) drones in Syria had targeted and killed three British nationals who, he said, had joined the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), and were planning terrorist attacks on British soil.

Cameron said that the strikes did not require the approval of Parliament because it was an act of “self-defense” for which there was a “clear legal basis.” He said, “We should be under no illusion. Their intention was the murder of British citizens. So on this occasion we ourselves took action.” He added:

My first duty as Prime Minister is to keep the British people safe. That is what I will always do. There was a terrorist directing murder on our streets and no other means to stop them. This Government does not for one moment take these decisions lightly.

But I am not prepared to stand here in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our streets and have to explain why I did not take the chance to prevent it when I could have done.

The announcement comes amid speculation that Cameron is preparing the ground for a military intervention in Syria. Guardian (London) and Telegraph (London)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Yemen, Sanaa, Saudi Arabia, Houthis, Iran, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, Taiz, Aden, Qatar, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Britain, David Cameron, Syria
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