Saudi Arabia “did not need to wait for Yemen to become another missile base that threatens the security and safety of Saudi Arabia, as the Iranians planned to do, to turn Yemen into a military base, from which they could attack the kingdom,” said Asiri, who serves as both the spokesman for Saudi operations in Yemen and as advisor to the defense minister.
Houthi rebels have targeted Saudi Arabia with 48 ballistic missiles since the country began joint military operations with other Arab states in Yemen in 2015. He said a total of 138 missiles have targeted either Saudi territory or its forces. It is believed that Iran, which has one of the largest military stockpiles in the Middle East, is supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with military equipment.
The Houthis (also known as Ansar Allah) are a rebel group from Yemen’s northern region. They have fought against the Yemeni government since 2004, including the current U.S. and Saudi supported government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. Yemen is currently divided between Hadi’s government and the Houthi rebels.
Saudi Arabia has been criticized for killing civilians while fighting the Houthis. More than one-third of Saudi strikes in Yemen have hit civilian areas, according to a study by the Yemen Data Project released in September.
Asiri claimed that Saudi Arabia has shown restraint by avoiding a ground-based operation.
“It did not happen for several reasons: First, there would have been be a large deployment of ground forces which would have resulted in a large number of civilian and military casualties. One of the objectives of the coalition is to rid Yemeni civilians of the Houthi rebel presence in their daily lives,” said Asiri. “There are around 100,000 Saudi forces stationed on the border that could have occupied Yemen in a few days, but we wanted to support legitimacy in Yemen with the least possible losses on both sides. We are like a technical team in a hostage situation.”
Asiri said Saudi Arabia aims to support the Yemeni government and prevent Houthi incursions in Saudi territory. He claimed that the Saudi-led coalition has made progress in beating back the rebellion. However, the Yemeni capital of Sanaa is still under Houthi control, while several other cities are in contention.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Apr 24, 2017 Comments Off on Iran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in Syria
Apr 15, 2017 Comments Off on Rouhani: Iran does not need ‘permission to build missiles’
Apr 11, 2017 Comments Off on Iran: New Valfajr Torpedo Launched from Ghadir Submarine
Mar 31, 2017 Comments Off on The surprising rise of the head of Iran’s most influential charity
Apr 25, 2017 Comments Off on Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program: On Course, Underground, Uninspected
Apr 22, 2017 Comments Off on Iran bars Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from running for president
Apr 20, 2017 Comments Off on Iran Guards member begins work as Iraq ambassador
Apr 13, 2017 Comments Off on Syria: The Hidden Power of Iran
Apr 24, 2017 Comments Off on Iran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in SyriaIran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in Syria Iran and Russia are moving closer together in their military alliance, working to boost ties and coordination in Syria and elsewhere in the region following the...
Apr 22, 2017 Comments Off on Iran bars Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from running for presidentIran bars Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from running for president When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put his hat into Iran’s presidential ring a couple of weeks ago, onlookers literally gasped. The hard-liner had, of course,...
Jul 14, 2016 Comments Off on Corps’ one hundred thousand of triggered missiles in Lebanon:An official Israel-threatening by CorpsIran Briefing: Since August 7, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadhan as “Quds Day”, the Islamic Republic has always tried to hold an imposing ceremony by using state resources as well as requiring people’s involvement. This year’s Quds march had fundamental...