Saudi Arabia bombs Yemen, launches coalition op against Houthi rebels — videos included
Published time: March 25, 2015 23:49
Edited time: March 26, 2015 05:25
Saudi Arabian forces, joined by nine other countries, have launched a military operation in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels, the Saudi ambassador to the US said. The offensive, which started with airstrikes, will also involve “other military assets.”
According to Ambassador Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, the military operation in Yemen started at 7 p.m. EST (11 p.m. GMT). The US is not participating in the operation, the envoy stressed.
Al Arabiya reported that warplanes of the Royal Saudi Air Force bombed positions of Yemen’s Houthi militia, targeting their air defenses.
The Saudi-led coalition has declared Yemeni airspace a “restricted zone.” Ships in the region have also been urged not to approach Yemen’s ports due to the ongoing military operation.
More than 20 people have reportedly died and over 30 others were injured following Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen, Sputnik news agency cited local security and medical sources as saying.
The majority of the strikes around Sanaa hit residential areas located near the capital’s international airport. Government buildings and the airport were also hit during the offensive.
Reports from the ground indicate that Saudi forces have bombed an office belonging to Houthi rebels in Sanaa’s Jiraf area. A Houthi-run TV channel reported dozens of civilian casualties following airstrikes north of Sanaa.
Residents said that warplanes targeted the capital’s airport, according to Reuters.
Houthis used heavy anti-aircraft fire to respond to the bombing.
Another warplane attack was said to have been launched on Sanaa’s Dulaimi military airbase. Al-Jubair told Al Jazeera that Houthi fighters are in control of Yemeni’s ballistic and heavy weaponry and could be taking over the country’s air force.
Reports citing Yemeni security services said four Sukhoi jets stationed at the Dulaimi military airbase were destroyed in airstrikes. Meanwhile, an Al Arabiya report claimed that Saudi-led strikes destroyed the airbase along with several arsenals, as well as taking out most of the rebels’ air defenses.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait issued a joint statement saying that they “decided to repel Houthi militias, Al-Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State) in the country.” The Gulf states said they were responding to a “major threat” to the stability of the region, saying that their cause is to “repel Houthi aggression” in Yemen.