An interesting story popped up via the Iranian mouthpiece, Fars, stating in part the following:
Israel’s fighter jets have taken part in the Thursday Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen, sources in Sanaa disclosed on Friday.
“This is for the first time that the Zionists are conducting a joint operation in coalition with Arabs,” Secretary General of Yemen’s Al-Haq Political Party Hassan Zayd wrote on his facebook page.
He noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had issued direct orders for the Israeli air force to send fighter jets to the Saudi-led air raid on Yemen.
And goes on to say how many civilians have been killed by said strikes and so on. Obviously it’s a blatant attempt to sway public support in their neighborhood towards Iran and tie the Israelis and Sunnis together, the Saudis in particular. This will likely play well in limited circles. However, it does give an interesting view in to the Iranian mindset and where their fears may truly lie.
Over the past few years (and recently again) there have been reports of a secret agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia allowing the IDF to utilize Saudi airspace in a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. There were similar reports that the Jordanians struck the same deal in regards to Syria. Whether this is true or not shines a little more light on the strange alliances in the region and the fears that haunt the Sunni nations regarding Shia Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.
There is a grand power play in the region and right now Israel is not the target but rather Sunni vs Shia. With Iran trying to hold on to Syria and thus Lebanon and making a move for Yemen, which would give them ground on the Saudi’s southern border and placing Oman, the UAE, etal in the middle, with the possibility to apply direct pressure on Saudi alliances in the future. Yemen also gives the Iranians easy access to Africa and hence Sudan, Egypt and Libya.
The Saudis on the other hand don’t want to see Iraq go lock stock and barrel to the Shia and created the monster we now know as ISIS to counter Shia advances and create a bulwark in the west to sow havoc in Syria, Iraq and possibly Lebanon.
Hezbollah, Hamas and even Islamic Jihad are still in play against Israel and would most certainly be unleashed (Hezbollah in particular) if the IDF were to strike Iran.
Pakistan has even agreed to provide forces for the Yemen campaign and keep in mind that they have a long border with Iran in the south with Afghanistan once again caught in the middle. One wonders what reactions Iran may have in Afghanistan which has long since been regarded as a Paki/ISI playground.
If Yemen turns in to a full tilt shooting war with ground forces for the Saudis you can bet the Iranians will at least try to continue supporting a Houthi insurgency to bleed the Saudis literally and slowly until public support were to erode. If the Saudis are serious about Yemen, and I believe they are, expect a large ground incursion in the next week or two to bring this to a swift and complete resolution overall then spend a year mopping up left over Houthi. Also look for bleedover in to Oman.
Expect Iran to turn up the heat in Iraq as to keep that land bridge to Syria and Lebanon, Iraq is extremely important to Iran otherwise they are a partial and divided caliphate, even if not all Shia. Expect the Saudis etal to keep funding ISIS at some level but use American air power to keep them on a short leash lest the house of Saud fall under al-Baghdadi’s knife.
Will the IDF strike Iran via Saudi airspace after a bad or no deal has been made between P5+1 and Iran? Possibly. A bad nuclear deal will likely get a lot of Persians killed before it’s said and done and the Saudis fear a Persian nuke as much as the Israelis do.