Saudi Arabian warplanes bomb Houthi rebels in Yemen
Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have launched a series of airstrikes against the Shi'ite Houthi rebels in the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a.
The air assault is code-named Operation Decisive Storm. It involved 100 Saudi Arabian fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and navy units, and targeted an air base, military bases. and anti-aircraft positions in the city, as reported by Al-Arabiya TV.
The operation also featured aircraft from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, as well as the UAE. It was aimed at weakening Houthis, who currently control large swathes of Yemen including Sana'a, and also dissolved the parliament earlier this year.
Saudi Arabian US Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir said: "The (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries tried to facilitate a peaceful transition of government in Yemen, but the Houthis have continuously undercut the process by occupying territory and seizing weapons belonging to the government.
"Based on the appeal from President Hadi, and based on the kingdom's responsibility to Yemen and its people, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with its allies within the GCC and outside the GCC, launched military operations in support of the people of Yemen and their legitimate government."
Citing hospital officials and eyewitnesses, Amnesty International claimed that the airstrikes killed 25 civilians, including at least six children.
Yemen's Ministry of Health also noted that the airstrikes killed 25 people and injured 40, but failed to confirm if there were any fighters among the casualties.
Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi branded the assault as a 'criminal, unjust, brutal and sinful' campaign by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to invade and occupy Yemen.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is also planning to launch a ground offensive in Yemen along with Egyptian and other allied forces after the airstrikes weaken the rebels, as reported by Associated Press.
Undisclosed Egyptian Military and security officials said the assault will come from Saudi Arabia and by landings on Yemen's coasts along the Red and Arabian seas.
Three to five Egyptian troop carriers are currently stationed offshore, the officials added, noting that the assault seeks to force Houthis and its allies to enter talks for power-sharing.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told the news agency that the country has received approval to provide logistical and intelligence support for the strikes, but will not join in direct military action.