Despite Saudi-led Airstrikes, Iranian-Backed Shiite Rebels Continue Advance in Yemen

Saudi Arabia signaled yesterday that they wouldn't rule out using ground troops in Yemen.

SANAA, Yemen — Shiite rebels reached the outskirts of the key southern city of Aden on Friday, boldly defying a bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia that is seeking to push them back and carve out a protected space for the country’s beleaguered president.

The drive by the rebels, known as Houthis, indicates they have not been intimidated by a growing, Saudi-led force of at least 10 nations that have pledged aircraft and ships in a major operation to stop the insurgents. The U.S. government is contributing intelligence and logistics aid to the Saudi-led offensive.

The fighting reflects how this impoverished Arabian Peninsula country may be turning into a battleground between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, the region’s foremost powers. The Saudis accuse the Iranians of arming the Houthi rebels.