ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The commander of Iran’s ground forces Ahmad Reza Bordestan warned on Sunday that the war in Yemen would spill into neighboring Saudi Arabia and engulf the kingdom unless Riyadh stops its bombings raids there.
“There will be explosions in Saudi Arabia through rockets fired into its territory and the price of this (conflict) will be heavy for Saudi authorities,” Bordestan said in an interview with Iran’s state-owned Al-Alam TV.
“With their past experience and abilities the Yemeni army can hit hard at Saudi Arabia,” he warned.
Traditional regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia are on opposite ends in the war in Yemen: Tehran backs Shiite Houthi rebels that have driven the Yemeni president into exile in Saudi Arabia; the Saudis back the government and have been leading bombing raids against the Houthis for more than three weeks.
Bordestan said that air strikes cannot win the war in Yemen and that only ground troops can decide the outcome of such a conflict. It “will drain Saudi Arabia and they do not have any experience in this kind of war,” he said.
The Iranian commander added that Yemeni fighters are “united, resilient and brave” and that despite the bombing raids the Houthis continue to take over more territory.