Bear with me when I pay attention to the mess in Yemen. Given everything else going on between Tunisia and Iran, Yemen looks like one step too far for all concerned, and if the Middle East turns into a war of all against all, the consequences for public health will be worse than catastrophic—and not just in the region.
Whatever happens in Iraq and Yemen, the political temperature of the region is getting hotter by the day. Looked at from a Saudi and Gulf monarchy point of view, Iran and the Shia are on the advance, becoming either the dominant or the most powerful influence in four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.
The Sunni Arabs in Iraq and Syria have linked their futures inextricably and fatally to Isis and other al-Qaeda type organisations. These have military strength, but they make many powerful enemies.
The confrontations between Sunni and Shia, and between Saudi Arabia and its allies and Iran and its allies, is becoming deeper and more militarised. Conflicts cross-infect and exacerbate each other, preventing solutions to individual issues. Thus Saudi intervention in Yemen reduces the chance of a US-Iranian agreement on Tehran’s nuclear programme and sanctions.
As these conflicts and divisions spread, the chances of creating a common front that is capable of destroying the Islamic State are getting fewer by the day.Meanwhile, Saudi Gazette is supporting the air strikes and quoting King Salman's warnings about "terrorism and sectarianism, which are being influenced by external forces flagrantly interfering in our Arab region."