Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes cripple Yemen's main airport
Saudi-led warplanes bombed Yemen's main international airport and struck a renegade troop base in the capital, as Arab leaders vowed today to pummel Iranian -backed rebels until they surrender.
Sanaa: Saudi-led warplanes bombed Yemen's main international airport and struck a renegade troop base in the capital, as Arab leaders vowed today to pummel Iranian -backed rebels until they surrender.
The raids on the country's main air gateway came just hours after UN workers were evacuated following deadly fighting that has sent tensions between Tehran and other Middle East powers soaring.
Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has urged his Arab allies to keep up the bombing until the Huthi Shiite rebels are defeated, branding them Iran's "puppet".
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said at a regional summit in Egypt today the offensive would go on until the rebels "surrender" their weapons and withdraw from areas they seized.
The Huthis and allied renegade military units have overrun much of the country and prompted Hadi to flee what had been his last remaining refuge in the main southern city Aden for Saudi Arabia.
Dozens of people have been killed in clashes in Aden in recent days, dimming prospects of Hadi returning anytime soon.
In the capital, witnesses reported hearing three loud explosions and seeing a large fire when Sanaa International Airport was bombed during a fourth night of Saudi-led raids.
"This was the first time they hit the runway" since the campaign began, an aviation source said. "The airport is completely out of service."
More than 200 staff from the UN, foreign embassies and other organisations had been flown out from the airport yesterday.
Pakistan said it was preparing to evacuate its citizens and diplomatic staff from Hudaida in western Yemen.
Overnight air strikes hit the headquarters of the rebel republican guard at Al-Subaha base in Sanaa, killing 15 soldiers, a military official said.
The Huthis are backed by army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 after a year-long popular uprising and is accused of supporting the rebels.
The latest Saudi-led strikes also targeted an airbase in rebel-held Hudaida, witnesses said.
Other raids targeted a base of the First Artillery Brigade in Saada, the northern stronghold of the Huthis.
At the regional summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Arab leaders had "agreed on the principle" of creating a joint military force.