As Yemen Collapses Could Middle East Go to War?

As the Saudi-led Arab coalition continued airstrikes against the Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, there were no signs to an end to the civil war after Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled the country last week.

The collapse of the nation typified what increasingly more analysts are admitting: U.S. influence in the region has failed. The void of US-led western dominance in the Middle East threatens to ignite what some have called an Islamic powder keg that pits Sunnis against the rival Shia powers.

The opposing axes include the Sunni military alliance of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf States and Pakistan which have guns aimed at the Iran-led Shia coalition of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and—if the Houthis succeed—Yemen.

The circumstances pose a scenario eerily similar to those that sparked the First World War in which regional powers, armed to the teeth, needed an excuse to pull the trigger against arch enemies. With little to no leverage left for the U.S. in the region, Middle Eastern war may be more an eventuality than a possibility.