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Houthi attack on Bahrain's soldiers tests Yemen's fragile cease-fire, US defense pact

An alleged Houthi drone strike that killed three Bahraini soldiers in Saudi Arabia this week has underscored the limits of Washington's commitment to Gulf states' defense.
Members of the Bahraini armed forces carry the coffins of comrades who were killed the previous day during their battle against the Huthi rebels in Yemen, on September 5, 2015 during an official repatriation ceremony at Isa Air Base in Sakhir, South of Manama. Bahrain announced that five of its soldiers were killed in southern Saudi Arabia where they had been posted to help defend the border with neighbouring war-wracked Yemen. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP

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Too close for comfort. Three Bahraini soldiers were killed and a number of others wounded in what Manama said was a Houthi drone attack near Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen on Monday.

It’s the first lethal cross-border strike publicly attributed to the Yemeni rebels in many months, threatening to disrupt a nationwide cease-fire that has largely held for more than a year despite having formally expired in October 2022.

It’s also the first time Bahrain has lost forces to the Iran-backed Houthis since the 2015 Houthi missile strike in Marib. It’s too soon to say whether the incident marks the start of a trend, but officials in Washington say they are concerned about the potential for escalation.

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