Saturday, March 28, 2015

Long time, first time

New York Times article on Egypt's participation in the Saudi-led intervention (IAABOT) in Yemen --

Two unexpected allies, Pakistan and Sudan, also joined the fight. 

Let's take Sudan first. Sudan has always identified as an Arab country, and post-partition (with South Sudan), it clearly is. It borders the Red Sea and Port Sudan was historically a stop on the intercontinental shipping routes which had Aden has their hub. So there's not much unexpected about them taking an interest now, especially with their President just having left Riyadh.

But then there's Pakistan. The NYT article correctly notes Egypt's debilitating participation in the 1960s Yemeni wars ... but not that the troops doing the bulk of the fighting for the Saudis were from .., Pakistan!  Ishaan Tharoor has gathered all the history in much more detail.

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