The above is the most predictable headline of the year…so far. With the feckless Saudis unable to bomb Yemen into submission, it was only a matter of time before the Saudis’ BFF, the US, would start sending troops to Yemen to “help them out.” From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Once again a creeping, years’ long shadow war is expanding from indirect proxy intervention to direct engagement, complete with US “boots on the ground” where no American ground forces were previously thought to exist.
And it’s not Syria, or Libya, or central Africa where the now familiar pattern played out before, but in the Arabian peninsula where the Pentagon has long claimed to merely coordinate intelligence, refuel jets, and provide logistical support to the Saudis which have been bombing Yemen since March of 2015.
On Thursday The New York Times revealed for the first time that US special forces have been on the ground supporting Saudi coalition forces since late last year:
But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.
With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.
Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.
According to the report, the elite Army operators were sent to assist the Saudis starting in December, weeks after ballistic missiles fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels came close to directly hitting Riyadh’s international airport, though the Saudis claimed to have intercepted it – a claim which was subsequently cast into doubt by weapons experts.
At that point, a worried Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly renewed calls for the the United States to send ground troops in order to bolster Saudi-led operations aimed at rooting out the source of the sophisticated Yemeni missile attacks, which have occurred on multiple occasions over the past year of fighting.
Like all administrations going back to 2001, the White House is relying on the the 9/11-era Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) to give legal justification for its actions in the Arabian peninsula. But this time the target is not primarily al-Qaeda, ISIS, or Sunni Islamist militants, but Iran — which the Trump administration has repeatedly accused of supplying Yemen’s Shia Houthis with its ballistic missile arsenal.