Thursday, April 23, 2015

Global SITREP C2-15: Is the Saudi-Iran War in Yemen a Prelude to Something Bigger?

USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, A/K/A "BigStick"

Update 23 April  2015: The Iranian Naval convoy led by the frigate Alborz (UK-made Vosper Mark V class frigate) arrived yesterday off the southern coast of Yemen. As the lead ship in the Iranian flotilla in the Strait of Bab-al-Mandab war zone, the Alborz is hopelessly out-classed by the immensely larger and more capable American, Saudi and Egyptian naval ships in the area.

Yet even this tremendously lopsided tactical situation has no guarantee of failure for the Iranian attempt to deliver more potent weaponry to its Houthi proxy warriors led by IRGC officers in Yemen.

Remember that the now exiled government of Yemen was a strong counter-terrorist ally of the U.S. for many years in the war against Al Qaeda and its Yemeni branch AQAP. And remember the even more recent and shameful events that occurred concurrently while Obama was capitulating to Iranian demands in the allegedly critical P5+1 talks in Lausanne, Switzerland to achieve the framework for the final deal. 

In a memory refresh, recall that Obama summarily abandoned our Yemeni ally with a flip of his limp wrist; he abandoned the sovereign ground of the American Embassy in Sana'a, and then followed these acts of cowardice up by ordering the elite warriors of the U.S. Special Forces in Yemen to first stand down and then to abandon their weapons and retreat southwards across the Red Sea into Djibouti. For the existential enemy in the Islamic Republic of Iran and a non-starter nuclear agreement that has already been rendered moot, President Barack Hussein Obama did all of this. This is what you should be mindful off in the coming days. This is Obama's legacy; he built this.

Update 6:45 PM: The media reports stating that the Iranian ships turned around because they realized that US ships were tacking them is pure, unadultered Obama Administration cow pie.  The Iranian's turned back to the north not because they feared the assembled fire power of US naval forces, but rather they realized they were no match for the Saudi and Egyptian ships with which they would have to do the dance of death if they tried to offload weapons to the Houthis. This is where Iran finally realized the limitations of its capability in raw military power projection, and they were summarily defeated by the Sunni Arab Navalforces without a single shot being fired. This is big.

20 April 2015: Reportedly an Iranian naval convoy of seven to nine vessels is carrying weapons destined for Shi'a Houthi rebels in Yemen. This Iranian naval convoy is about to sail head-on into an allied naval picket line anchored by the USS Roosevelt, a/k/a "Big Stick," and its carrier strike group of a cruiser and three destroyers which are operating under the authority of a unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution to prevent any arms from reaching the rebels.

The immediate mission of the "Big Stick" and its strike group is to board, inspect and otherwise prevent the delivery of the weapons. It is doubtful the Iranian ships will comply, leaving open the possibility of an armed confrontation in the Arabian Sea. Such a confrontation carries the inherent risk of war that could quickly spread into the Persian Gulf and anywhere else US and Iranian forces are in close proximity to each other. 

The leading question I am currently entertaining is if the now four-week old war being fought by the Saudi-led Arab coalition against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, now very much buttressed by the awesome firepower of US and other allied forces mustered in the Arabian Sea, might not soon find themselves in an all-out war with Iran. Jeremiah 40:34-39 comes immediately to mind as I ponder this possibility. We shall soon see.



Kenneth Moore said...

Yes, Sean.
This is possibly the 'match' that light's prophecy Psalms 83/ Jeremiah 49/ Ezekiel 35 scenario.

mark3210 said...


It's reported now that Saudi Arabia is "ending" their campaign in Yemen.

Are they backing down the way Israel did after the Hezbollah attack a few months ago just to buy the Iran talks a bit more time?

GFD/TN said...

What is the real reason the Saudis ended the airstrike campaign in Yemen? It certainly did happen quickly.

Sean Osborne said...

The Saudi-led Arab League military coalition has not ended anything. What they are doing is moving to the next phase of the military operation.

The mostly strategic air strike phase of the operation against the Houthi militias and their Yemeni allies was declared mission complete approximately 3 hours ago (midnight in Riyadh and 5 PM EDT in the US) by Saudi BG Ahmed Asiri.

The next phase of the operation will be more tactical in nature, apparently aimed at limiting the freedom of movement of the rebels and their allies, and ultimately forcing a military defeat upon them. The UNSC arms embargo against the Houthis and their allies is still in effect and any Iranian sealift resupply effort will not be allowed to proceed.

Bottom line: the war to restore the Yemeni government goes on.

LD said...


I couldn't help but be skeptical when the USS Roosevelt was ordered into the fray in the Yemen matter. Yes, Big Stick she is, but when wielded by the "limp wrist" leader coupled with a line in the ocean that no nation respects to any degree any more, I knew this was basically a farce. I just pray that the Iranians don't get bold and light up one of our ships. It will take king putt about three weeks to decide if they can respond. Anyway, getting back to Jer 49. I agree this may be the overall setup; however, I just don't see the US getting into this under the lack of leadership we currently have. I just find it amazing that Obama/Kerry can continue pushing the P5+1 deal, while Iran is basically giving us the universal peace sign. I am just amazed watching our nation fall from grace. Pretty sad commentary.

Sean Osborne said...

Yes, all that is probably true, for the moment at least.

However, we must be mindful that even Obama has a world socialist boss, and when that boss shouts "jump," Obama will respond "how high."

Great Grany 5 said...

If that Socialist Boss that you mentioned shouts "JUMP" I believe there will be instant wet pants all over the White House, except for el presidenti. But, and this is a big one, scripture tells us that it is God, YAHWEH, i AM, JEHOVAH that raises up Kings and also, brings them down.

Wonder how soon that will happen because all the armies, navies and elite forces in the World are nothing when God begins to direct the whole Battle Scene.
I recall Gideon and his little ragtag army and the battle that they were very ill equipted to fight but fight they did and win they did but with much interaction by JEHOVAH'S ARMY.


Scipio said...

GG, I happen to have been in 2nd Kings 19, where God eliminated the 185,000 Assyrians in an "unwinnable" situation. Similar to Gideon. LD, yes it's a far cry, the good ole USA, from where it was when I was a kid, in the 50s and 60s. A few hundred years ago our culture was "God first", 100 years ago, "Nation first" and now, I think both "State first" or "Self first".
Sean - Gospeed.

Sean Osborne said...

The Iranian Shi'a jihadists are not quite the suicidal maniacs they would like us to believe they are.

With rare exception, that type of jihadist is a Salafist of the Sunni sect.

Iranian Shi'a have become more pragmatic since the suicide human wave tactics of the 1980s.

What this all boils down to is that the Iranian ships will turn tail and return to Iran rather than pick a fight to the death with Egyptian or Saudi naval forces.

mark3210 said...


Is it fair to say there will be a lot of similarities between the Iran debate that is taking place on Capitol Hill right now and the debate over Iraq we saw in 2002?

Or do you think it is a much different debate as the latter involved an authorization for the use of force while the current one does not?

Sean Osborne said...

What is there to debate?

Nothing really.

They will pass a binding resolution to disapprove the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

The only questions are:

1.) How strong the amendments to the bill will make the final version that is passed.

2.) How effective our representatives are in presenting this legislation to the American people who are overwhelmingly against the P5+1 agreement framework.

Anonymous said...

Bob from Texas

Sean, What do you make of the closure of Israeli embassies?

Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Sean Osborne said...

Bob from Texas, (and who is not Anonymous!)

That Israeli Embassy thing was something actively going on back in March. The Israeli embassies were closed due to a strike by Foreign Ministry employees who wanted more pay and stipends for spouses who gave up careers to move overseas with their Foreign Service spouse.

The Embassy strike was settled on 1 April 15 and everything has been just peachy since then.