Saudi-led coalition to get U.S. weapons boost

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have increased intelligence sharing on Yemen and established a joint planning cell

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The United States has stepped up weapons deliveries in support of a Saudi-led coalition resisting the advance of Houthi rebels in Yemen, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.

"Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message to the Houthis and their allies that they cannot overrun Yemen by force," Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

"In support of that effort we have expedited weapons deliveries," he said after talks with Saudi officials.

"We've increased our intelligence sharing, and we've established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operations center."

Last month, Saudi Arabia launched “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Houthi coup in Yemen and in support of legitimate President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.

Yemen’s Houthis have joined forces with militias of the deposed Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in an aggressive bid for power in the crisis-wrecked country. In September 2014, the militias took over the capital Sanaa and eventually forced President Hadi to escape house arrest and flee to the city of Aden.

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