Dec 23,2017 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
The firing of yet another ballistic missile on the Saudi capital Riyadh recently in the span of two months raises the spectre of a wider war in Yemen with grave regional implications reaching Iran.
Tehran is being accused by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the war in Yemen as being behind the recent escalation of tensions over Yemen by extending military assistance to the Houthis, its surrogate power waging the war in the country.
Two ballistic missiles have been deployed against Riyadh with the first having been fired on Saudi Arabia presumably with the knowledge and complicity of Tehran.
Both missiles were reportedly intercepted by the Saudi advanced defences, but the implications of the use of such advanced weaponry on Saudi Arabia cannot be underestimated.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has submitted “evidence” to the UN Security Council (UNSC) in the wake of the firing of the second ballistic missile on the Saudi Arabian capital implicating Iran as the power that provided the know-how and material to the Houthis to enable them to fire this type of sophisticated missiles.
Haley told the UNSC members that “while we don’t yet have sufficient insight into this particular attack, it bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons”.
The US ambassador called on the council to take action against Iran before it is too late by warning that “if we don’t do something, we will miss the opportunity to prevent further violence from Iran”.
While there is still no iron clad evidence about the direct involvement of Iran in the missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, it is hard to believe that the Houthis have advanced technology of their own to deploy ballistic missiles against their enemies.
The Houthis must have received advanced military assistance from one side or another, and by the looks of things Iran appears to be the most likely provider of the missiles that were used against Riyadh.
Meanwhile, the war in Yemen, now in its third year, has turned to the worse after the killing of the former president of the country Ali Abdullah Saleh on December 4.
His assassination by the Houthis who were his uneasy allies till he changed course and promised to “turn a new page with Saudi Arabia”, in a bid for reconciliation with the kingdom, turned his former allies into his enemies.
Ever since, the situation in Yemen continued to deteriorate especially when it comes to the humanitarian scene in the country where thousands and thousands of Yemenis are either starving to death or have succumbed to disease and epidemics.
There is a pressing need to end the conflict in the country in order to save the Yemeni people from further death and destruction.