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Yemen conflict raises specter of Mideast proxy war

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 01:21

Anti-Houthi protests continue in Taiz, Yemen as Houthi forces close in on the president's base in Aden, raising fears that the conflict threatens to spiral into a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Hundreds of activists in Taiz, Yemen spill into the streets for yet another day of demonstrations against the takeover of their city over the weekend by Houthi forces. The armed rebels have also spread southward from several directions towards the port city of Aden. That's where President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi set up his base after fleeing the capital Sanaa last month. Residents in Aden say the Houthi militia, backed by allied army units, seized an air base and now appear poised to capture Aden itself, from defenders loyal to Hadi. They say the militia are within a half hour's drive of the city's northern entrance. Local witnesses also say soldiers at the army barracks fired into the air to keep residents away from its weapons depot, suggesting Hadi's control over Aden is fraying. Houthi leaders say their advance through Yemen is part of a revolution against Hadi and what they call, his corrupt government. Shi'ite Iran has blessed their rise as part of an "Islamic awakening" in the region. But Yemen's Sunni neighbor Saudi Arabia backs Hadi. ... For western observers, it's an issue of deepening concern, raising fears that the conflict could spiral into a proxy war between the Mideast's two most powerful nations.

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Yemen conflict raises specter of Mideast proxy war

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 01:21