For many observers, the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis is the latest episode in an ongoing wider cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Yemen, many argue, is the latest battleground front - joining Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq - where the region's chief power-brokers have been locked in a proxy war for the best part of 20 years.
After the brutal murder of its captured pilot, Jordan says it intends to step up its air strikes against IS targets and to defeat "this terrorist organisation [that] is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values." The most useful role for the UK and other foreign powers would be to assist, with logistical, training and intelligence support, the efforts of Jordanian, Iraqi and Kurdish forces to defeat IS... Not only because it is a brutal, murderous sect threatening vital UK interests by infecting British-born fighters and others with the virus of its perverted ideology but equally because it is bringing misery to tens of thousands of people in both Iraq and Syria who now live in areas controlled by the sect.
I understand the need for diplomatic niceties to be observed. That's why when a royal head of state dies, I'm perfectly happy for one of our royals to attend the funeral. But why on earth do we have to send the prime minister as well? ... Wouldn't it be nice if, like Germany, we could halt our arms sales to what is undoubtedly one of the nastiest regimes on the planet. And when the new king dies - he's already 79 - perhaps we could send Prince Charles on his own. I'm sure he'd manage just fine.