Saudi Arabia launches air strikes in Yemen
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying it is “defending the legitimate government” of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Saudi jets targeted Houthi positions in the capital Sanaa overnight, along with missile batteries and warplanes.
Mr Hadi fled to an undisclosed location after rebel forces neared his refuge in the southern city of Aden on Wednesday.
A Houthi official warned the coalition that it risked provoking a wider war.
Shia power Iran, which Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia accuses of backing the rebels, also demanded an immediate halt to the strikes, which it said violated Yemen’s sovereignty.
“We will make all efforts to control [the] crisis in Yemen,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, according to the Isna news agency.
A conflict that pulls in regional powers could disrupt global oil supplies, and the price of Brent crude rose almost 6% after the strikes began.
The Saudi ambassador to the US announced the start of “Operation Storm of Resolve” at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday night.