Two stories today have to be put together to illustrate the chaos in the Middle East:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi Arabia began airstrikes Wednesday against Houthi rebel positions in Yemen, vowing that the Sunni kingdom will do “anything necessary” to restore a deposed government that has been routed by the Iranian-backed group.
In an unusual tableau, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States announced the rare military operation by his country at a Washington news conference about a half-hour after the bombing began. The strikes started at 7 p.m. EDT, he said.
Loud, house-shaking explosions could be heard in the Yemen capital of Sanaa and fire and smoke could be seen in the night sky, according to an Associated Press correspondent whose home is near the military airbase in the capital.
The Houthis said in a statement to reporters that Saudi jets are hitting the military base, known as al-Duleimi, in Sanaa. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_YEMEN?
U.S. Backing Iran With Airstrikes
A U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast that U.S. conducted 15 strikes beginning at 315 p.m. EDT, targeting weapons storage facilities, barracks and road blocks set up by ISIS. All the targets were “pre-planned” the official said, suggesting an operation planned before the Iraqis formally sought approval.
Two U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that upon receiving a formal request from the Iraqi government, the attacks began almost instantly. “The coalition has demonstrated the ability to rapidly respond to conditions on the ground,” one of the officials noted.
As the situation deteriorated in Tikrit for Iraqi forces, the U.S. military quietly laid the groundwork for expanding coalition air strikes into the central Iraq city, the U.S. officials told The Daily Beast. They moved assets and began crafting military plans for striking ISIS targets entrenched there. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/25/u-s-ready-to-back-iran-with-airstrikes-against-isis.html