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Sudan Turns Back on Iran, Joins Saudi Arabia's War on Yemen

The aftermath of Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen today. Photograph shared by @HussainBukhaiti on Twitter

The aftermath of Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen today. Photograph shared by @HussainBukhaiti on Twitter

Sudan switched sides from being an Iranian ally, to waging war against the Houthis, Iran's allies in Yemen.

Sudan joining the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi fighters, who took control of Sanaa in January this year, has raised eyebrows.

UAE-based journalist Abbas Al Lawati tweets:

And Sean Lee adds:

Sudan has agreed to send ground troops to support Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen, dubbed Operation Decisive Storm, which started this morning. It has also sent three fighter jets to take part in the airstrikes, according to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV.

The agreement came following a one-day visit between Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al Bashir, wanted by the International Court of Justice (ICC) for war crimes and genocide, and the Saudi monarch Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, which concluded today, according to the Sudan Tribune.

The paper adds:

The trip represents a thaw in relations between the two countries which has been tense in recent years because of Khartoum’s close ties with Iran.

In the past there were also reports that Sudan has been providing weapons to Houthi rebels on behalf of Iran.

Sudan also announced the closure of all Iranian missions and groups in Sudan. Rohollah Faghihi tweets:

Bashir is wanted by the ICC, charged with committing genocide and war crimes in Darfur. In March 2009, ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir. More than 300,000 people were killed in Darfur since problems started in 2003.

The 10-nation coalition involved in the war on Yemen is made up of Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, minus Oman.

Other countries that have rallied against the Houthi rebels also came under criticism.

Jane Novak, who tweets about Yemen, notes:

Indian Shuvankar Mukherjee comments:

And Lebanese blogger Abir Ghattas sarcastically quips:

Stay tuned for more coverage on Yemen.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Pakistan was a part of the Saudi-coalition bombing Yemen. Apologies for the error. 

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