Yemeni protesters in Taiz hail Saudi offensive, King Salman
King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia ordered the beginning of a military operation against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels
Thousands of Yemenis in the city of Taiz have taken to the streets to express their support for the Saudi-led “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Houthi rebel group, reported the Saudi news agency SPA.
Houthi rebels and supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have captured much of the third largest city of Taiz last week, as well as its airport.
The fighters also took control of a number of government buildings and a prison, they said.
The takeover of the airport happened without a struggle, but later eyewitnesses reported Houthi gunmen firing tear gas and shooting into the air to disperse protests by residents demonstrating against the presence of Houthi forces.
After responding to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s pleas for help, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia ordered the beginning of a sweeping military operation against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen early on Thursday.
Hours later the Royal Saudi Air Force carried out several airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen, destroying most of an airbase used by the militia in Sanaa and "most of their air defenses," a Saudi source told the channel.
Reports also emerged that top Houthi leadership including Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi, Yousuf al-Madani, and Yousuf al-Fishi were killed, and the head of the Revolutionary Committee for the Houthis, Mohammed Ali al-Hothi, was wounded.
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