Saudi Arabia Launches Air Strikes in Yemen

Saudi Arabia leads air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels as peace talks falter.

Yemen’s president had barely appealed for military assistance to halt the advance of Houthi fighters when Saudi Arabia responded by launching air strikes against the group.

The Houthis have long been pressing for greater autonomy and political rights but were widely condemned when they staged a coup in January.

Commenting on the military intervention, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir, said: “We will do whatever it takes in order to protect the legitimate government of Yemen from falling and from facing any dangers from an outside militia.”

Saudi Arabia is co-ordinating a coalition of 10 nations, including Gulf states Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, along with allies Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan.


The US is providing intelligence and logistical support.

Iran, which has been backing the Houthi rebels, called the air strikes an “invasion” and a “dangerous step” that will worsen the crisis.

Could this military intervention pave the way for a ground offensive?
Or can the UN seize the opportunity to encourage Yemen’s warring sides back to the negotiating table?


Coalition Jets Continue to Hit Houthi Targets in Yemen

Saudi Arabia leads attack on rebel military bases in second night of raids as embattled President Hadi flees to Riyadh.

Warplanes from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have continued bombing Houthi targets in Yemen for a second day, including the Shia rebel group’s stronghold of Saada, as embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

A spokesman of the coalition said on Thursday that the military operation against the Shia Houthi rebels would continue “as long as necessary”. Brigadier Ahmed al-Asiri also said that “at the moment” there are no plans for the deployment of ground forces, but troops are “ready for all the circumstances”.

President Hadi arrived in Riyadh on Thursday, with officials saying he would continue his journey to Egypt to take part in a two-day Arab League summit at the weekend.

That was the first confirmation of Hadi’s whereabouts since the rebels began advancing this week on the main southern city of Aden, where the president has been holed up since fleeing the rebel-controlled capital last month.

Saudi Arabia began the air campaign on Thursday night, saying it had assembled a coalition of more than 10 countries, five of them members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir, said the coalition stood ready to do “whatever it takes” to protect Hadi’s government.


Explosions have been heard in the capital, Sanaa, which has been under Houthi control since September. The Shia rebels seized power in a coup last month.

Eyewitnesses also reported air strikes and loud blasts in Saada near the Saudi border, where a military unit was the target.

Rights group Amnesty International said at least six children were among 25 people killed in the air strikes in the capital on Thursday. Earlier, Houthi sources said at least 18 people had been killed in the bombardment.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Sanaa against the air raids.


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