Saudis begin airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen
WASHINGTON — The Saudi ambassador to the United States says his country has begun airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who drove out the U.S.-backed Yemeni president.
Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir spoke from the Saudi embassy in Washington; he said the operations began at 7 p.m. Eastern time.
He says 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. Offensive military action by Saudi Arabia is also a rarity, although Saudi Arabia is a partner in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria.
He says the Saudis “will do anything necessary” to protect the people of Yemen and “the legitimate government of Yemen” from Iran-backed Shiite rebels.
Other nations may join in the offensive. In a…
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