Saudi foreign minister says intervention possible in Yemen

Houthi rebels advance, Yemeni foreign minister calls for help

23 March, 19:19

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, MARCH 23 - Saudi Arabia and its Arabic allies are still hoping for a negotiated solution in Yemen, but "will take the necessary measures should the need arise" to defend the country's sovereignty, said Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on a broadcast Monday.

    Faisal told pan-Arabic TV Al Jazeera that intervention was an option in the predominantly Sunni country, where Shiite Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, are seeking to take over the nation. The Saudi minister also condemned what he defined as "Iranian interference" in the region. Faisal's statements followed Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen's call for military intervention by neighbouring Arabic countries and for a declaration of a no-fly zone by the United Nations to prevent the Houthi from using airports they have conquered on their advance towards the south.

    The Houthi have swept from the northern regions where they come from. They took control of the capital Sanaa last September, and in January dissolved the parliament as well as held Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi under house arrest.

    The president, who is still recognized by the international community, managed to flee and take refuge last month in Aden, the former capital of southern Yemen where he enjoys popular support. The Houthi have continued their descent toward the south of the country, taking over in recent days a number of parts of the airport of Taiz, the third largest city in the country, with the intention of continuing toward Aden. (ANSAmed).

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