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Saudi Arabia begins military operation against rebels in Yemen

March 26, 2015, 10:27 UTC+3 CAIRO
The operation is backed by Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
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Aftermath of Saudi air strike, in Sanaa, Yemen
© EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
Aftermath of Saudi air strike, in Sanaa, Yemen
©  EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

CAIRO, March 26. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia’s Air Force on Thursday carried out a series of airstrikes against the positions of Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, local TV channels have reported.

Al Arabiya news channel reported that the warplanes of the Royal Saudi Air Force destroyed most of the militia’s air defences in several areas of the country and an airbase.

Saudi Arabia’s Air Force has taken Yemen’s airspace under full control. The operation is backed by Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The countries said in a joint statement that they "decided to repel Houthi militias."

The military operation against the rebels in Yemen will continue until the country’s US-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi returns to the territory, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday.

The rebels say through the TV channels they control that dozens of civilians have been killed as the result of Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on the capital. Yemen’s army units have joined the rebels and taken control of international airport and a sea port of Aden and blocked the presidential palace, they said.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi politburo, told Al Jazeera that the military operation in Yemen could lead to a full-scale war.

The United Nations has been informed about the military operation in Yemen, launched by the Persian Gulf states, Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told TASS.

Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (the Houthis) forced the president and the government to announce resignation.

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