A letter from Oman’s defense minister to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed willingness to join the Saudi-led coalition in neighboring Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s press agency reported Dec. 29. Reuters earlier reported the news with unnamed Saudi and Gulf sources on Dec. 28. Stratfor sources on Dec. 29 indicated that Oman joining the coalition is a largely symbolic move that coincides with Gulf Cooperation Council efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, especially as Saudi Arabia is searching for an exit strategy. The source clarified that it should not be read as an Omani effort to escalate or participate in the fighting, as Omanis will not actually send troops into Yemen. After all, several nations are part of the coalition but do not aid the coalition militarily. The coalition was initially announced in December 2015 as a means of bolstering Saudi Arabia’s leadership role in combating terrorism. And rather than choosing a side in Iran and Saudi Arabia’s regional competition for influence, Oman will continue to play the role of mediator between the two countries. In fact, according to the source, Oman believes the decision to join the Saudi-led coalition will give impetus to Muscat as a peacemaker between Iran and Saudi Arabia.