Tensions between Iran and Saudis could draw US into another war

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 11:23:11 AM. While our eyes are fixed on North Korea, the Middle East threatens to explode. If it does, we’ll be drawn in — and the carnage and cost will make Iraq seem like spring break. Choose your powder keg…
While our eyes are fixed on North Korea, the Middle East threatens to explode. If it does, we’ll be drawn in — and the carnage and cost will make Iraq seem like spring break. Choose your powder keg, starting with Yemen. Ruptured by civil war, the entire country’s running out of water; famine is biting; and cholera’s spreading like a medieval plague. Yemeni factions fight like rabid dogs let loose in a butcher’s shop, while Islamist fanatics spread through the desolate hinterlands. Worsening all, Iran has backed the Shia-aligned Houthi rebels to gain a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula. Two-and-a-half years ago, Iran’s involvement drew in the Saudi military. Today, neither side is winning; the dying continues; and the frustrated Saudis have blocked not only trade but relief supplies. Yemen is dying, the plaything of powerful neighbors, and we can’t even find it on a map. But Yemen may well find us. Launched from Yemen, an Iranian-supplied missile targeted the Saudi capital this month. A US-built air-defense system brought it down, but the attack signaled that Iran is raising the stakes. Given their triumphs in Syria and Iraq, Iran’s militants feel invincible. No sentiment is more dangerous. By contrast, Saudi Arabia is reeling. Riyadh’s struggling to find an effective response to Iran’s empire-building. In its latest — appallingly clumsy — move, the kingdom essentially kidnapped Saad Hariri, the man the Saudis themselves had backed as Lebanon’s prime minister. Riyadh forced...Read more
Share this

You might also like

Similar