Arab warplanes dropped hundreds of bombs on rebel targets in Yemen Friday in an air campaign that dwarfs the bombing of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. That's because Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain -- the three countries flying air strikes -- all view Iran, which is backing the rebel effort to take over Yemen, as a greater threat than ISIS.
A small team of American experts has been sent to Saudi Arabia to aid in the strikes by providing intelligence from spy satellites and reconnaissance drones. Saudi Arabia is asking for more American support in the form of aerial refueling and spare parts.
The rebels, known as Houthis, have already taken the capital of Sanaa and are moving south toward the Port of Aden with some advance elements already fighting in the city. The objective of the bombing is to slow the rebel advance enough to give the government forces time to regroup.
Saudi Arabia has moved forces to the border with Yemen and Egypt has talked about sending troops as well, but U.S. officials do not yet see preparations for a ground operation into Yemen.
Two Saudi pilots had to bail out after their jets suffered a mechanical malfunction. They came down over water and two hours later were rescued by an American helicopter.
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