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:
Sudan's involvement in the Yemen operations probably cements its departure from the Iran camp and into the GCC camp
— Abbas Al Lawati (@allawati) March 26, 2015
And Sean Lee adds:
So Bashir is currently in Riyadh. Looks like KSA must have outbid Tehran: http://t.co/h0rykKXfb5 #Sudan
— Sean Lee (@humanprovince) March 26, 2015
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.
Sudanese defense minister says Khartoum will take part in Yemen campaign with air and ground forces.
— Deena Adel (@deena_adel) March 26, 2015
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:
Result of Omar Bashir trip to Saudi Arabia? / #Sudan closes offices of all Iranian missions and groups / via Al-arabiya
— Rohollah Faghihi (@FaghihiRohollah) March 26, 2015
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:
Saudi Arabia w whips bloggers leading corrupt kings & military dictators to rescue corrupt inept #Yemen Pres Hadi from civil war, uprising
— Jane Novak (@JNovak_Yemen) March 26, 2015
Indian Shuvankar Mukherjee comments:
Wow 3 Monarchy (Saudi, Jordan, Morocco ) and 3 anarchy (Pak, Egypt, Sudan) are bombing #Yemen from the sky .. All for Peace & Democracy ..
— Shuvankar Mukherjee (@shuvankr) March 26, 2015
And Lebanese blogger Abir Ghattas sarcastically quips:
Yes by all means, let's believe in the leadership of Saudi Arabia, it has proven to be so fucking honest & effective over the years #Yemen
— Abir Ghattas (@AbirGhattas) March 26, 2015
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.