Saudi Arabia and other regional allies have launched a military campaign in Yemen targeting Houthi rebels. The Saudi-led airstrikes are intended to thwart the Houthis’ advance after seizing control of the capital Sana’a last year and deposing President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi last month. Hadi called for international intervention on his behalf earlier this week. There are conflicting reports over his whereabouts as Houthis advance on his outpost of Aden. Unconfirmed statements say Hadi has fled Yemen by boat. The Houthi-run Health Ministry says the strikes have killed at least 18 civilians in Sana’a and wounded 24 others. The Saudi government says it has consulted “very closely” with the White House on its military campaign. Hours before it began, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Houthis are stoking unrest.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest: “The United States continues to strongly condemn the recent offensive military actions undertaken in Yemen that have targeted President Hadi. The actions of the Houthis and former President Saleh have caused widespread instability and chaos that threatens the well-being of all Yemenis.”
Other countries involved in the military intervention are the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. The Houthis have warned the Saudi-led operation will set off a “wide war.” Iran, which backs the Houthis, has demanded an immediate end to what it calls “U.S.-led aggression.”