Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies launch airstrikes inside Yemen, says Saudi ambassador to the United States
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, confirmed in a press briefing on Wednesday night that the Saudi military, along with regional allies, has begun airstrikes against targets in Yemen. Reports from the ground in the capital city of Sanaa confirm that a wide-scale bombing operation was currently underway with explosions rattling buildings across the city.
Al-Jubier said the bombing campaign was designed to protect what he described as the “legitimate government” of Yemen from rebel forces.
“We have air assets from a number of countries in the [Saudi] kingdom and we have military assets that are on their way to the kingdom to participate in these operations,” Jubeir said.
A U.S. official who asked not be named told Reuters that the United States was providing support to Saudi Arabia as it carries out its operation, but gave no details.
The New York Times reports:
Live-tweeting in response to the development of the bombing of capital city of Sanaa by Saudi and allied forces, Yemeni human rights activist Farea Al-Muslimi expressed horror and critical dismayat the unfolding situation:
Amid the complex and fast-moving situation in Yemen, this curated Twitter feed by Common Dreams hopes to serve as a source of quality updates and trusted perspectives:
Tweets from https://twitter.com/commondreams/lists/trusted-voices-on-yemen
Yemen’s embattled president may have fled stronghold in southern city of Aden as ‘all-out civil war’ all but officially declared
According to the Guardian‘s Kareem Shaheem:
The Washington Post adds:
As Houthi forces in Yemen reached the port city of Aden on Wednesday amid conflicting information of the whereabouts of embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, separate reporting indicated that Saudi Arabia is mobilizing its military forces along its southern border—fulfilling predictions of a total breakdown of peace efforts and stoking fears for a wider and more protracted conflict.
Alarms have been ringing this week that the breakdown of peace talks between the government of President Hadi—which has received backing and patronage from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia—and the Shi’ite factions from the north, backed by Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and thought to be receiving at least tacit support from Iran, could lead to a full-scale war inside the country. On Sunday, UN special envoy to Yemen declared that continued fighting and the inability to bring a complex array of Yemeni factions to the table was pushing the impoverished nation to the “edge of civil war”.
According to reporting by Reuters late Tuesday, citing U.S. officials familiar with the developments, Saudi Arabia was “moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen,” a move seen as raising the risk that the Sunni monarchy and powerful U.S. ally—also the region’s wealthiest and most heavily-armed country—could soon enter the worsening Yemeni conflict.
On Wednesday morning, Al-Jazeera reports information suggesting Hadi and his top commanders had fled Aden after Houthi forces entered the city, though other reports indicated this was not the case.
As Iona Craig, a UK-based independent journalist who has covered Yemen for years and followed recent developments closely, noted on Twitter:
According to Al-Jazeera: