Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia Leads Air Strikes On Houthi rebels
Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi departed his refuge in Aden under the protection of the Saudi army on Thursday, arriving in Saudi Arabia as Houthi rebels battled with forces loyal to him just outside the southern port city.
Warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies bombed at Houthi forces, who have conquered much of the country in their campaign against Hadi.
The Saudi-led military intervention represents a major escalation of the Yemen crisis, wherein Iran supports the Shi’ite Muslim Houthis, and Sunni Muslim monarchies in the Gulf support Hadi, as well as his fellow Sunni loyalists in Yemen’s southern regions.
Iran demand a halt to Saudi-led military operations, also making it clear that Saudi Arabia’s deployment of a Sunni coalition against its Shi’ite enemies would prolong the conflict.
“In light of the events and developments that have happened since dawn, he has decided to attend the summit and participate in person,” Mohammed Marem, the director of Hadi’s office, told Reuters.
The Saudi move was a dangerous move by the world’s top oil exporter to check Iranian influence in its backyard.
“We will do whatever it takes in order to protect the legitimate government of Yemen from falling,” Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, told a news conference in Washington.
“Military actions in Yemen…will further complicate the situation,” ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, quoted by Fars news agency.
A senior Iranian official told Reuters: “Iran will use all possible political ways to allay tension in Yemen. Military intervention is not an option for Tehran.”
“The strategic change in the region benefits Iran and we cannot be silent about the fact that the Houthis carry their banner,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash said.
Washington says its supports the military action and is providing US logistical and intelligence support.
On the news, gold has found a firm footing, heading for its longest run of gains in more than two years as Saudi Arabia and its allies started bombing targets in Yemen.