While the coalition fight against ISIS in Iraq & Syria has garnered a huge amount of media attention, a large-scale offensive underway against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen is well underway on the Arabian peninsula. The massive Saudi-led campaign named Operation Decisive Storm has garnered an incredible amount of regional support with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Jordan, the UAE, and even Sudan all flying airstrikes into Yemen to help keep the Houthi rebels at bay after President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi fled to neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The large scale of the campaign reveals a deep concern by the Saudis about the rebels crossing the southern border, as the operation even rivals the size of the ongoing Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State.
The Royal Saudi Air Force has been the primary driver of the Yemeni campaign, with approximately 100 aircraft involved. As we reported last week, one of their F-15SAs went down in the Gulf of Aden, with the safe recovery of the aircrew.
So far the US has kept a very low profile so far with assistance limited to unmanned ISR assets providing intelligence to the coalition.
However, the Pentagon has just offered additional support for Operation Decisive Storm in the form of air refueling tankers. While the UAEAF and RSAF both operate the A330MRT Voyager, their numbers are limited, especially for a prolonged campaign with a high operational tempo.
Our guys and gals will continue to offer up their gas-passing services whenever called upon, since nobody kicks ass without tanker gas!