This is another disaster taking place away from much media scrutiny. The Yemeni govt. calls its operation Scorched Earth. Imagine if a NATO or US operation in Afghanistan were called that. Everyone would be screaming at the outrage but in north Yemen it doesn't matter. No doubt Pakistan is mounting a similar type of campaign against the Taliban in some of the border tribal areas. These results in both cases are humanitarian disasters. The battles are also stirring up hatred between Sunnis and Shiites in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is trying to curb the influence of Iran and Shias in the Middle East. This could strain relationships with Iraq and cause renewed internal conflict in Iraq.
Tent cities raised as Saudis flee border bombardment
By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
AHAD-ALMASARHA, Saudi Arabia: Thousands of Saudi Arabians are huddling in tent cities after abandoning their homes as fighting between Yemeni troops and Shiite rebels spilled across the border. They were evacuated from scores of villages earlier this month and relocated to camps far from the border as the Saudis began to bombard the Zaydi rebels in a bid to drive them back.
The UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday that 240 villages have reportedly been evacuated and more than 50 schools closed in Saudi Arabia since the conflict erupted.
Ali Hassan Jrad, 21, moved with his family from their home in the village of Al-Maqatba in the southern province of Jizan, to Ahad-Almasarha camp, home to about 1,000 Saudi evacuees.
“My family and I have been living in a tent, which is not equipped with air conditioning because there is no electricity,” Jrad told AFP.
“We get daily food rations … but services are lacking in the camp,” Jrad complained.
Saudi forces entered the fray on November 4, pounding rebel positions straddling the border on the 2,000-meter Jebel al-Dukhan mountain, after rebels killed a border guard and occupied two Saudi villages.
It was the first overt action by Saudi forces against the rebels, also known as Houthis, since Yemeni forces launched “Operation Scorched Earth” against the insurgents on August 11.
Saudi forces shelled and rocketed rebel positions inside