Date
23 November 2017
Plainclothes policemen stand atop a police vehicle at a checkpoint in Sanaa. Photo: Reuters
Plainclothes policemen stand atop a police vehicle at a checkpoint in Sanaa. Photo: Reuters

Saudi artillery moving to Yemen border: US

Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, Reuters reported, citing US officials said.

It raises the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict, the report said.

The military buildup follows a southward advance by Iranian-backed Houthi Shi’ite militants who took control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September.

The militants seized the central city of Taiz at the weekend, moving closer to Aden, the new southern base of US-supported President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The slide towards war in Yemen has made the country a crucial front in Saudi Arabia’s regionwide rivalry with Iran, which Riyadh accuses of sowing sectarian strife through its support for the Houthis.

The conflict risks spiraling into a proxy war, with Shi’ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere to the Zaydi sect of Shi’ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing Hadi.

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