25 killed in Saudi airstrikes in Yemeni capital

Published March 26th, 2015 - 04:54 GMT

At least 25 people were killed and 40 others injured in Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemeni capital Sanaa, a Health Ministry official said Thursday.

"Twenty-five people were killed according to a preliminary death toll," the official in the Houthi-controlled ministry told The Anadolu Agency.

He said 40 civilians had also been injured in the strikes.

"The death toll is likely to rise in the coming hours," the official said.

Houthi-run al-Masirah television, meanwhile, said scores of civilians had been killed and injured in the airstrikes.

Saudi Arabia launched Thursday a military operation, including airstrikes, in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi group, which seized capital Sanaa and several provinces.

In a joint statement, five Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait – said the operation "was in response to a request from Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen from the aggression of Houthi militias."

The statement accused the Houthis of being a "tool in foreign powers that seek to harm the security and stability of Yemen."

According to Saudi media, warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan are participating in the anti-Houthi offensive.

Egypt and Pakistan also said they were ready to participate in a ground offensive against the Houthis, the media said.

The United States also said that it was ready to provide logistical and intelligence support for the anti-Houthi offensive.

Saudi Arabia deployed army forces along border with Yemen on Tuesday after Houthi advanced on the southern Aden city, where President Hadi is based.

No information is yet available about Hadi's whereabouts.

Yemen has descended into violence since last September, when Houthis overran Sanaa, from where they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

Some Gulf countries suspect that the Houthi insurgency is supported by Shiite Iran.

Jordan confirms participation in anti-Houthi offensive in Yemen 

Jordan has confirmed its participation in Saudi-led airstrikes against the Shiite Houthi group in Yemen.

"Our participation [in the offensive] aims at supporting legitimacy in Yemen," a senior government source told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

The source, however, ruled out that Amman would take part in a ground offensive against Houthis in Yemen.

"Jordan does not intend to participate in any possible ground assault in Yemen," the source said.

Pro-Hadi vigilantes captures Yemen's Aden airport 

Local vigilantes loyal to Yemen's embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi have recaptured Aden airport in southern Yemen, a security source has said.

"Pro-Hadi vigilantes have forced troops allied with the Houthis and ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh to withdraw from the area," the source, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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