The Iranian backed shiite militants, Houthis in alliance with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh are advancingon the southern city of Aden. The only opposition is al-Qaeda which is in the central region. The current President Hadi was in Aden with a very weak force and called for intervention. Saudi Arabia answered the call and has begun airstrikes on the Houthis.
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.”
Yemen’s Foreign Minister Riad Yassin told Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV satellite news network that he officially made a request to the Arab League on Wednesday to send a military force to intervene against the Houthis. Depicting the Houthis as a proxy of Shiite Iran, a rival to Sunni Gulf countries, he warned of an Iranian “takeover” of Yemen. The Houthis deny they are backed by Iran.
It seems the Saudis are not alone on this.
— Flea1862 (@Flea1337) March 25, 2015
Yemen, another success for the god-king!
Update: The Gulf countries are in on this intervention as well.
Riyadh (AFP) – Five Gulf states said Thursday that they will protect Yemen’s embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Shiite rebels that have closed in on the city of Aden, where he took refuge after fleeing the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE said they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his people from the aggression of the (Shiite) Huthi militia”.
The statement came as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington said the kingdom has launched a military operation against the rebels.
“The operation is to defend the legitimate government,” Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Washington.
The statement from Riyadh included all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council except Oman.