Instant View: Saudi Arabia coalition air strikes in Yemen risks wider conflict

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday it had launched military operations in Yemen, carrying out air strikes in coordination with a 10-country coalition seeking to beat back Houthi militia forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the country’s president had taken refuge. With the Saudi-led military assault, the Middle East’s top oil power has been drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict. The crisis risks spiraling into a proxy war with Shi’ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere to the branch of Shi’ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. COMMENTARY: JOHN MCCARTHY, PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS “Saudi Arabia is worried that Yemen will become a proxy for Iran, essentially taking control of what had been a Sunni-dominated country congenial to Saudi‚Äôs interest.

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