US military intervention in Yemen: reports

Saudi Arabian warplanes bombed a market in Bani Maan village in Yemen killing 70 civilians, rebels in the north of the country said Dec. 14. The rebels, known as Houthis, have accused the Saudis of several cross-border raids. Additionally, Iran's Press TV, citing claims on the rebels' Almenpar website, reported that US fighter jets took part in the air-raids in the northwestern province of Sa'ada. (BBC News, Press TV, Dec. 14)

The claim comes as the UK's Daily Telegraph reports that the US has ordered "a small number of Special Forces teams" to Yemen, to train the country's armed forces. One unnamed US military official said that the country is becoming a "reserve" base for al-Qaeda. (The Telegraph, Dec. 13)

A three-way civil war seems to be developing between the Shi'ite Houthi rebels (with presumed Iranian backing), Sunni militants (with presumed al-Qaeda links) and the US-backed government forces. Along with the air-strikes, the Yemeni government announced it had intercepted a vessel transporting Iranian weapons to the Houthi rebels. (