(Via Al Arabia) Warplanes of the Royal Saudi Air Force bombed the positions of Yemen’s Houthi militia and destroyed most of their air defenses, Al Arabiya News Channel reported early on Thursday.
Arab Gulf states had announced that they have decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from the country’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
In their joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”
The Gulf states warned that the Houthi coup in Yemen represented a “major threat” to the region’s stability. (read more)
(Via Fox News) Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen early Friday, one day after the U.S.-backed Yemeni president was driven out of the country.
Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir said the operations began at 7 p.m. Eastern time.
He said the Houthis, widely believed to be backed by Iran, “have always chosen the path of violence.” He declined to say whether the Saudi campaign involved U.S. intelligence assistance.
Al-Jubeir made the announcement at a rare news conference by the Sunni kingdom.
He said the Saudis “will do anything necessary” to protect the people of Yemen and “the legitimate government of Yemen.”
A Yemeni official earlier Wednesday would not say where Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled to, but did tell Fox News: “He is safe. That’s all I can say at this point.”
Hadi’s departure marks a dramatic turn in Yemen’s turmoil and means a decisive collapse of what was left of his rule, which the United States and Gulf allies had hoped could stabilize the chronically chaotic nation and fight Al Qaeda’s branch here after the 2011 ouster of longtime autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Over the past year, the Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who are believed to be supported by Iran, have battled their way out of their northern strongholds, overwhelmed the capital, Sanaa, seized province after province in the north and worked their way south. Their advance has been boosted by units of the military and security forces that remained loyal to Saleh, who allied with the rebels.
With Hadi gone, there remains resistance to the Houthis scattered around the country, whether from Sunni tribesmen, local militias, pro-Hadi military units or Al Qaeda fighters. (read more)