Saudi Arabia said it had launched the bombing raids to reinstate what it called the legitimate government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has been holed up in the main southern city of Aden since fleeing rebel-controlled Sanaa. The Houthis and their allies within the armed forces had been closing in on Hadi's last bastion, Aden. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the air strikes would lead only to greater loss of life. "Military action from outside of Yemen against its territorial integrity and its people will have no other result than more bloodshed and more deaths," he told the Iranian-owned Al-Alam television channel. "We have always warned countries from the region and the West to be careful and not enter short-sighted games and not go in the same direction as al-Qaeda and Daesh," he added. He also called for an "urgent dialogue" among the Yemeni factions "without external interference".
Strikes were also reported on targets in the Malaheez and Hafr Sufyan regions of Saada province, a main Houthi stronghold on the border with Saudi Arabia. Citing Saudi military sources, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV channel reported that 100 Saudi warplanes were involved in the operation, dubbed 'Decisive Storm'. The United Arab Emirates is participating with 30 jets, Bahrain with eight, Morocco and Jordan both with six. Sudan reportedly offered three war planes to assist the operation. Egypt is said to be another member who is willing to take part and it is believed that another four Muslim countries are to take part including Pakistan and Kuwait. Four Egyptian warships also entered the Suez Canal on the 26 March 15 enroute to the Gulf of Aden after Cairo pledged military support for the campaign. The officials said the ships will take part in operations "to secure" the strategic waters that control southern access to the Suez Canal.
361 COMMENT: Iran has denied backing the Houthi which is expected. The missiles that were destroyed may have been part of a shipment that was discovered and reported on the 4 March 2013 when an Iranian boat was seized off the Yemeni coast and was found to be carrying sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft missiles which at the time signaled an escalation of Iran's support to its Middle Eastern proxies. Among the items aboard the dhow, according to a review of factory markings on the weapons and their packing crates were 10 Chinese heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, most of them manufactured in 2005. The missiles were labelled QW-1M and bore stencils suggesting they had been assembled at a factory represented by the state-owned China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, which is sanctioned by the US for transfers of missile technology to Pakistan and Iran. The shipment, which officials portray as an attempt to introduce sophisticated new anti-aircraft systems into the Arabian Peninsula, has raised concerns in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, as the weapons would have posed escalated risks to civilian and military aircraft alike. Iran at the time denied any involvement with the weapons.
Iran may also dispute that an Iranian ship unloaded more than 180 tons of weapons and military equipment at a Houthi-controlled port in western Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on 20 March 2015, quoting security sources. The ship had docked at al-Saleef port northwest of the al-Hodeida province on 19 March 2015. The Houthi militias reportedly closed the port and denied entrance to employees there. Al-Saleef port is considered the second most vital in Yemen. The news follows last week’s economic partnership agreements between Iran and the Houthis, including a deal that promises a year’s worth of oil supply from Iran. Iran has also agreed to provide Yemen with a 200 megawatt power plant, according to Yemeni news agency Saba. As for Iran stating that it wants dialogue to resolve the conflict it is important to see who and why the Iranians got involved in the first place. If the Iranian backed Houthi rebels control Yemen then Iran will also control the Straits of Hormuz and that between Djibouti and Yemen known as Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Iran will control two very important oil shipping lanes. The question that has to be asked is how long are the Arab states willing to continue this fight? If Iran decides to carry out its threat regarding bloodshed then the likely scenario of this will be to train and fund terrorist organisations in the various Arab speaking coalition countries to exact revenge by supporting terrorist acts. Iran does like to get its own way and feels that it is an important world player now that it is nearing the completion of nuclear power. COMMENT ENDS