Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saudi Arabia, Former Iraqi Officers Accused of Helping Yemen fight Houthi Insurgents

There are reports on some Iraqi websites about former Iraqi army and republican guard officers advising Yemen’s military in the ongoing campaign against the Houthi insurgents.

According to Buratha and Nahrain.net, senior former officers in Saddam’s army are helping government forces in Yemen identify the mistakes they made in previous confrontations with the Houthis. The sources quoted by the two websites add that “the officers presented their experience in dealing with Kurdish strongholds in the Iraqi north whose mountainous and rugged terrain resembles that of Sa’da” and that Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Salih then decided to enlist the help of those officers as advisers and field strategists in the offensive that is currently underway.

The authorities in Yemen deny such collaboration, and is accusing Iran of funding and supporting the Houthis.

Clear sympathy for the Houthis is noted in this and previous reports on similar Shiite-affiliated Iraqi websites. Here too Saudi Arabia is being accused of being the mastermind of the campaign which is being portrayed as a Sunni-on-Shiite genocide. Another report on Buratha says “A political representative of the Houthis said this sixth war in Yemen is for the benefit of Saudi Arabia. The representative, speaking to al-Alam (Arabic-speaking Iranian TV) said eyewitnesses saw Saudi fighter aircraft fly low towards Yemen and [the sighting] was followed by powerful explosions”.

This comes less than a week after the same sources accused Saudi Arabia and the Ba'ath Party of planning a campaign of sectarian cleansing against Shiites in Nineveh.

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