Residents of Aden run towards a weapons depot to take up arms in preparation for a potential advance on the southern Yemeni city by Huthi Shiite militia and their allies on March 25, 2015
Residents of Aden run towards a weapons depot to take up arms in preparation for a potential advance on the southern Yemeni city by Huthi Shiite militia and their allies on March 25, 2015 © Saleh al-Obeidi - AFP
Residents of Aden run towards a weapons depot to take up arms in preparation for a potential advance on the southern Yemeni city by Huthi Shiite militia and their allies on March 25, 2015
AFP
Last updated: March 26, 2015

Gulf states to answer Yemen president's call for protection

Five Gulf states said Thursday that they will protect Yemen's embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Shiite rebels that have closed in on the city of Aden, where he took refuge after fleeing the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE said they "have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his people from the aggression of the (Shiite) Huthi militia".

The statement came as Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington said the kingdom has launched a military operation against the rebels.

"The operation is to defend the legitimate government," Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Washington.

The statement from Riyadh included all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council except Oman.

Yemen has been gripped by growing turmoil since the Shiite Huthi rebels launched a power takeover in Sanaa in February.

The strife has raised fears Yemen could be torn apart by a proxy war between Shiite Iran, accused of backing the rebels, and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, which supports Hadi.

Yemen's acting foreign minister Riyad Yassin warned Wednesday that the fall of Aden would mean the "start of civil war" as he drummed up Arab military support for Hadi, who was taken to a safe haven "within Aden" as the rebels closed in.

blog comments powered by Disqus