Staff Writer, Al Arabiya News
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
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.
It also accused the Iranian-backed militia of conducting military drills on the border of Saudi Arabia, a leading member of the GCC, with “heavy weapons.”
In an apparent reference to Iran, the statement said the “Houthi militia is backed by regional powers in order for it be their base of influence.”
The Gulf states said they had monitored the situation and the Houthi coup in Yemen with “great pain” and accused the Shiite militia of failing to respond to warnings from the United Nations Security Council as well as the GCC.
The statement stressed that the Arab states had sought over the previous period to restore stability in Yemen, noting the last initiative to host peace talks under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
In a letter sent the U.N. Security Council and seen by Al Arabiya News, Hadi requested “immediate support for the legitimate authority with all means and necessary measures to protect Yemen and repel the aggression of the Houthi militia that is expected at any time on the city of Aden and the province of Taiz, Marib, al-Jouf [and] an-Baidah.”
In his letter Hadi said such support was also needed to control “the missile capability that was looted” by the Houthi militias.
Hadi also told the Council that he had requested from the Arab Gulf states and the Arab League “immediate support with all means and necessary measures, including the military intervention to protect Yemen and its people from the ongoing Houthi aggression.”