ISLAMABAD, April 6. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to supply military planes, ships and national army units for fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif told a parliament’s session on Monday.
The Pakistani parliament session is devoted to the situation in the Middle East in the framework of escalation of the crisis in Yemen. Pakistani lawmakers will make a decision on whether to join the Saudi Arabia-led coalition which is delivering air strikes at Houthi positions in Yemen.
"Saudi Arabia asked Pakistan to render assistance to the coalition it [Saudi Arabia] heads in the form of sending fighter jets, ships and military units to the region," Asif said. The defense minister did not say where the Pakistani contingent was planned to be deployed.
Islamabad is ready to do everything in its power to "protect its friend and ally Saudi Arabia from any threat to its national security," Asif said.
After the defense minister’s speech, the session was postponed because of protests voiced by opposition parties and movements. After the session resumes, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to deliver a speech.
Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) forced the president and the government to announce resignation.
The rebels later took control of the country’s capital and several northern provinces. They also announced the adoption of the so-called constitutional declaration.
Overnight to March 26, Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in the neighboring country and delivered air strikes at several Houthi positions. Yemeni President Abd Rabbah Mansur Hadi fled the country to Saudi Arabia.
Houthi rebels are currently fighting pro-government forces over control of Yemen’s second-largest city of Aden.
The coalition is currently considering launching a ground operation in Yemen to oust Houthis.