Over the better part of the past month, the only entities actively involved in the proxy war in Yemen against the local Houthi rebel force have been air force units, mostly under Saudi command as part of Operation "Decisive Storm." Which probably explains why there has been little if any progress to note in pushing back said rebellion which, armed heavily thanks to the US government, has successfully managed to push the current president into an indefinite exile.
That changed hours ago, when Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered the Saudi Arabian National Guard, widely regarded as the kingdom's best equipped military ground force, to take part in Riyadh's campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.
As Reuters notes, "military operations in the campaign have so far been carried out by the Royal Saudi Air Force and the Royal Saudi Land Forces, which answer to the Defense Ministry. The national guard is a separate military structure run by its own ministry."
Which means that what has been an airborne war until now is about to become a land war.
But it will hardly stop there: recall that two weeks ago we reported that in a sign of support for the Houthis, Iran had dispatched the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy has left for the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait.
And, as we predicted, the US promptly retaliated with a naval dispatch of its own, and as was reported yesterday, "U.S. Navy officials say the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen and will join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi (HOO'-thee) rebels fighting in Yemen."
That, or other Iran ships just generally in the vicinity.
And with US support in the Red Sea which will soon migrate north toward the true objective of this latest middle east conflict, Syria, one can be certain that Russia will not be far behind.
Especially if, as we are learning today, what was until recently "only" an air war is about to become a land war, likely one with naval reinforcements from all sides.