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US military action in Yemen could deal a blow to Saudis: Analyst

The US would indirectly help Houthis, if it targets al-Qaeda in Yemen, Henderson said.

The US military operations in Yemen would potentially deal a blow to Saudi Arabia, which is carrying out its own airstrikes in the crisis-hit country, says a political analyst.

Dean Henderson, author and political analyst from Missouri, said a more aggressive military action against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula would indirectly help the Houthi Ansarullah movement, the primary target of Saudi airstrikes, which is fighting AQAP terrorists in Yemen.

“Are they really targeting AQAP or they are targeting the Houthis as well? I don’t have enough information on the ground to know that yet," Henderson said. "I mean if they are targeting al-Qaeda, then actually it’s a blow to Saudis. They would help the Houthis."

Citing former and current US military officials, ABC News reported earlier that the Pentagon has quietly ordered fresh deployments of Special Operations troops to Yemen.

Late in January, the US military carried out the first known ground raid in Yemen in two years, which was followed by an unprecedented series of airstrikes this week.

The moves, officials said, signal that the US military is stepping up the effort against al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Marine One with US President Donald Trump on board, lands at Dover Air Force Base February 1, 2017 in Dover, Delaware, for the transfer of Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens who was killed in Yemen on January 29. (photo by AFP)

The Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is running Yemen’s affairs and defending the nation against the Saudi military offensive, says the US provides a generous diplomatic support to Riyadh for its aggression against Yemen.

Yemen has been under attack by Saudi Arabia since March 2015. The deadly campaign was launched as part of efforts by the kingdom to reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close Riyadh ally.

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, says the Saudi military campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.

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