The Russian Analyst rarely agrees with the NYT editorial board, but in this case they are spot on in calling out the Administration and the Pentagon's deceptions regarding how deeply involved American forces are in the conflict:
The Pentagon and the Trump administration apparently have misled Americans about growing military involvement in a war in Yemen that we should have nothing to do with.
In the latest expansion of America’s secret wars, about a dozen Army commandos have been on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen since late last year, according to an exclusive report by The Times. The commandos are helping to locate and destroy missiles and launch sites used by indigenous Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack Saudi cities.
This involvement puts the lie to Pentagon statements that American military aid to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics and intelligence, and is not related to combat.
When senators at a hearing in March demanded to know whether American troops were at risk of entering hostilities with the Houthis, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the Central Command, assured them, “We’re not parties to this conflict.”
In at least 14 countries, American troops are fighting extremist groups that are professed enemies of the United States or are connected, sometimes quite tenuously, to such militants. The Houthis pose no such threat to the United States. But they are backed by Iran, so the commandos’ deployment increases the risk that the United States could come into direct conflict with that country, a target of increasing ire from the administration, the Saudis and Israelis.
Such significant military decisions require public debate to force presidents and their generals to justify their decisions and be held accountable for the consequences. But checks and balances have eroded since Sept. 11, 2001, as ordinary Americans became indifferent to the country’s endless wars against terrorists and Congress largely abdicated its constitutional role to share responsibility with the president for sending troops into battle.
The United States initially deployed troops to Yemen to fight Al Qaeda’s forces there, under post-Sept. 11 congressional authorization measures. But Congress never specifically approved military involvement in the Saudi-Houthi civil war.
The Administration's anti-Iranian agenda and the embrace of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (aka MBS) by President Trump and his (heavily indebted in real estate deals and looking for bailouts from Gulf Arab investors) son-in-law Jared Kushner has been well documented by the legacy media. With the reports that Trump aides hired an Israeli security firm made up of former Mossad psyops agents to dig for dirt on former Obama Administration officials, the Trump team's actual domestic political collusion with Israel rather than Russia (which precipitated the perjury trapping of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn) is also on record. For its part, Israeli 'business intelligence' firm Black Cube denies any involvement in digging for dirt on former Obama Iran deal media promoters Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl:
Less documented by the legacy media has been the covering up of Saudi casualties numbering in the mid to high thousands, and the disenchantment of Sudanese mercenaries with their disposable cannon fodder role, such that parliamentarians in the war torn Sudan are calling for their soldiers to be withdrawn. Also less covered by the mainstream media (with the exception of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera) has been the rivalry between the Saudis and the UAE over their differing plans to wind down the war and economically exploit Yemen. Socotra in particular has both tourism and major port potential as Yemen's 'crown jewel' along the Maritime Silk Road. The land grab on Socotra of course, may be motivated not just by greed but fear, as problems add up for the UAE economy, which is heavily dependent on expatriate skilled workers and unskilled foreign laborers for its prosperity.
The extent of Iranian technological and tactical support, complete with reports of phantom IRGC officers being killed in Saudi air strikes (when only Hezbollah has actually put boots on the ground alongside the Houthis), also seems to have been exaggerated to downplay the extent of the Saudis humiliation. As the American Shi'a Muslim published Mint Press news also reported last week, the Yemenis have displayed superb homegrown ingenuity in developing short range drones for combat use and converting old Soviet designs like the SA2 surface to air missiles into a ground striking role. But clearly if their missiles suddenly get a hell of a lot more accurate, or follow less ballistic and more ground hugging cruise missile trajectories to evade Patriot and other NATO supplied Saudi air defenses, Riyadh and Washington will see the revenge of Tehran for Syria behind such developments. As it stands today, the Israeli media is warning that Tehran plans a major Iranian missile strike against Israel launched from Syrian soil.
While the global and alt media's eyes are on Syria, don't forget about the Yemen War and Saudi desperation to receive more support from the Americans exposing U.S. troops to ambushes/missile strikes as a factor in scenarios for regional escalation.