**The US has a new friend in the region: Iran **
A calculated strategic swap of allegiances as Iran replaces Saudi Arabia as the United States’ favoured regional ally?
Last week, a US drone strike in the Yemeni province of Baydah reportedly killed up to 20 al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters. Among the dead was Shawki Ali Ahmed al Badani, wanted for his role in a plot that led to the closure of US embassies across the region in 2013. While the target was AQAP’s leadership, it will have been welcomed by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who took Yemen’s capital Sanaa in September and have since been in open warfare with AQAP.