Pakistan has reportedly sent an army combat unit to Yemen to join the war against the Shia fighters in the country’s north.
An informed source with the Pakistani daily Jang has said that a 300-strong unit of Special Forces has been deployed in Yemen.
US media reports say the US military and intelligence agencies are involved in joint operations with Yemeni troops.
Yemen launched a military offensive against the Houthi fighters in the northern Sa’ada Province last August. Saudi Arabia joined forces with the Yemeni government in November.
The conflict in northern Yemen started in 2004 between Sana’a and Houthi fighters and intensified in 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation “Scorched Earth” in an attempt to crush the Shia fighters in the northern province of Sa’ada.
Sana’a accuses the Shia fighters of violating terms of a ceasefire in 2009 by taking foreign visitors hostage.
The Houthis accuse the Yemeni government of violating their civil rights and marginalizing them politically, economically, and religiously.
The Shia fighters say the offensives launched against the northern regions mostly target residential areas and result in civilian casualties.
The Yemeni government claims that the Houthi fighters seek to restore the Shia Zaidi imamate system, which was overthrown in a 1962 coup–a claim rejected by the Houthis, who in turn accuse the Yemeni government of violation of their civil rights, political, economic and religious marginalization as well as large-scale corruption
Islamabad’s controversial decision is expected to cause public outrage in a country, which is similarly targeted by indiscriminate missile attacks, claims an Iranian news agency report.