SHAFAQNA – Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab allies launched airstrikes in neighboring Yemen late Wednesday, confirmed Adel al-Jubeir the Saudi ambassador to the United States this Thursday morning.
According to Adel al-Jubeir, the airstrikes were part of a 10-nation coalition, comprised of members from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Pakistan, Egypt and other foreign powers.
“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” Jubair told reporters in Washington, as cited by Al Jazeera.
According to the Saudi state news agency SPA, the Minister of Defense Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz “supervised the first air strike on the Houthis’ strongholds in Yemen, which resulted in the destruction of all Houthi air defenses fully, Al-Dailami base, SAM missiles batteries and four warplanes, without any losses in the Saudi Air Force.”
The news of the airstrikes followed reports that Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was rushed to a “secure location” Wednesday as rebel forces bore down on his southern stronghold and a warplane attacked his presidential complex, prompting pleas for urgent intervention, as reported by Arab News.
According to that same Arab News report, a top aide said that Hadi had been taken to a safe haven “within Aden,” the southern port city. Earlier a source in the presidential guard said that Hadi had flown overseas, but the aide denied he had left the country.
Earlier in the day, the Houthis said they had captured Hadi’s defense minister.
“This is a clear aggression and we will respond by a counter-aggression … The Saudi move will unite all the people of Yemen against the Saudis and the kingdom will pay the price,” said Ali Al Imad an Ansarallah official.
While several tribes aligned with Saudi Arabia have expressed their joy at seeing Ansarallah’s positions being attack in the Yemeni capital, civilians across the impoverished nation have expressed both their anger and disgust at the international community as their warn such a violation of Yemen’ sovereignty should not go unpunished.
Political analyst Hamad Hussain Al Sharajabi from Taiz told Shafaqna on Thursday, “Saudi Arabia’s aggression is against the people of Yemen. They are killing our sons to protect their oil route and see restore their puppet president, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi at the presidency … If he was really Chief Commander of the armed forces then what kind of example is he setting by fleeing before danger while our boys bleed? This is a disgrace! What we’re witnessing is a foreign invasion of Yemen. Saudi Arabia will only ignite sectarian tensions and destroy Yemen’s unity. And as usual Al Qaeda will exploit the created chaos.”
According to reports on the ground dozens of people, among whom women and children have perished in the airstrikes this morning, stroke where they stood.