Apr 4, 2015
Operation Decisive Storm-Air Power Over Yemen
Operation Decisive Storm began on March 26 and has resulted in one of the most extraordinary gatherings of air power seen in recent years, with air arms from the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, except Oman, joined by aircraft from Morocco, Egypt and Sudan, as well as Jordan.
The numbers of aircraft involved are quite extraordinary but perhaps illustrate the concern that Saudi Arabia and its neighbors have for the spread of the Houthi insurgency in the south of the Arabia peninsula.
Saudi Arabia is supporting the operation with 100 aircraft that are likely to include fighters and support aircraft.
Bahrain has deployed between eight and 12 of its F-16s, Qatar has sent 10 of its 12 Mirage 2000s. The United Arab Emirates has deployed 30 aircraft, while Morocco and Jordan have each deployed six F-16s. Jordan’s participation is particularly noteworthy given its heavy involvement in operations against the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria. Reports state that Kuwait has sent 15 F/A-18 Hornets.
Egypt’s aerial contribution is unclear, but its neighbor Sudan is perhaps the most surprising of the participants, bringing a trio of Sukhoi Su-24 Fencers.
How big a role the Su-24s will play remains to be determined, particularly as the aircraft are not compatible with Western weapons stockpiled at Saudi air bases, forcing the Sudanese to transport bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia where the aircraft have been forward-based for the campaign.
Pakistan says it is examining a request from Riyadh to join the coalition.