Yemen Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes

Yemen Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes
# 27 March 2015 20:23 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Yemen's Houthi rebels made broad gains in the country's south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led air strikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia's efforts to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, APA reports quoting Reuters. Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters and allied army units gained their first foothold on Yemen's Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of Shaqra 100km (60 miles) east of Aden, residents told Reuters. The advances threaten Hadi's last refuge in Yemen and potentially undermine the air campaign to support him. The losses came as the spokesman for the Saudi-led operation, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, told a press conference in Riyadh that defending the Aden government was the campaign's "main objective." "I want to confirm that the operation itself has as its main objective to protect the government in Aden," Asseri said. "The operation will continue as long as there is a need for it to continue," he said. Warplanes targeted Houthi forces controlling Yemen's capital Sanaa and their northern heartland on Friday. Asseri said that planes from the United Arab Emirates had carried out their first strikes in the past 24 hours. In a boost for Saudi Arabia, Morocco said it would join the rapidly assembled Sunni Muslim coalition against the Houthis. Pakistan, named by Saudi Arabia as a partner, said it had made no decision on whether to contribute.
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