Pakistan is to airlift troops for Saudi war on Yemeni rebels. Saudi, Egyptian landing in Aden is imminent


Pakistan is to airlift troops for Saudi war on Yemeni rebels. Saudi, Egyptian landing in Aden is imminent
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2015

The US-led world powers and Iran Monday, March 30, entered the last tense hours for a nuclear deal – as though Lausanne was on a different planet from the Middle East, where the Yemen war in which Iran is deeply involved abruptly scooped up a power outside the region, Pakistan.

An official in Islamabad announced Monday: “We have already pledged full support to Saudi Arabia in its operation against rebels and will join the coalition,” he said, without specifying the type of military support Pakistan has pledged to its Saudi ally. debkafile’s Intelligence sources report that the Pakistani army is preparing to airlift a large force of several brigades up to a complete division to Saudi Arabia. Friday, the government in Islamabad promised “a strong response” to any threat to “Saudi integrity.”

Our military sources note that Pakistan’s decision to intervene in the war against “Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels” presages the Yemen conflict’s expansion to ground and sea operations after four days of heavy Saudi air raids. The Pakistani brigades would be able to relieve the substantial Saudi ground forces strung out along the kingdom’s 1,000-kilometer long southern border with Yemen, and free them up for action against the Houthis. Pakistani troops would also be available for ensuring security at Saudi oil fields and terminal, as they have in the past. Riyadh fears that bands of terrorists trained by Iran, some of them Houthis, might infiltrate the kingdom and target its oil infrastructure.

debkafile sources report that, after the Saudi air bombardment broke the back of the Houthi-controlled Yemeni Air Force aircraft and its missile resources Sunday, a task completed Sunday,the fourth day of its intervention, Saudi and allied Gulf and Egyptian forces are preparing to land marines in the big Yemen Red Sea port of Aden. They aim to stabilize battle lines and prevent the town’s fall into rebel hands. Once Aden is secured, the Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled the city on the eve of the Saudi operation, can return and start re-assembling his tattered regime. A restored and functioning legitimate Yemeni government is essential for the conduct of the coming stages of the war to crush the revolt, but also envisages an exit linet: negotiations for the conflict’s termination.