The proposal is part of the overall military plan to counter ISIS
The move would have significant implications for the US military posture on Iran
The Trump Administration is expected to decide as soon as this week on a plan to increase US military involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
The proposal calls for stepping up military assistance to support Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in their fight against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have toppled the central government there. The move would have significant implications for the US military posture on Iran, while Yemen is a key location for a top al Qaeda affiliate.
The proposal is part of the overall military plan to counter ISIS being reviewed by the White House, a US defense official said. But in contrast to other parts of the strategy, increased US support to the Saudis and UAE in Yemen could be interpreted by Iran as the beginning of a Trump administration effort to build an anti-Iranian military coalition, the official acknowledged.
The defense official noted that if Iran perceives US assistance to Tehran’s foes in Yemen as an anti-Iranian move, it could hurt US efforts to fight ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq, where pro-Iranian militias have until now largely stayed away from interfering with US efforts.