Saudi Arabia launches air strikes in Yemen

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes against Shia-led Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying it is “defending the legitimate government” of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, the BBC reports.

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.

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