According to Yemen’s official news agency, the nation’s government has signed a military pact with the United States, which has promised to cooperate with them in their fights against assorted rebels and insurgencies.
Yemen has a myriad of opposition movements, but most recently has been fighting against the northern Shi’ite region, a fight which has drawn Saudi Arabia’s military in over the past week.
Yemen insists that the offensive has nothing to do with the fact that the region is occupied by Shi’ites, but the rebel movement stems primarily from complaints that the region is unduly ignored in development because of its religious differences.
Iran, which sees itself as something of a defender of the world’s Shi’ites, has criticized in particular Saudi Arabia’s role in the recent fighting. Iran and Saudi Arabia have long standing rivalries which stem from radically different religious beliefs.
Yemen has officially rejected “outside interference” in its conflicts, but has looked the other way as Saudi warplanes bomb the region, even claiming the air strikes were a rebel myth hours after the Saudi government gave a briefing confirming the strikes were under way.