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Pakistan’s absence won't impede Yemen operation: Saudi spokesman

He pointed out that the Pakistani government did not yet announce its official position

Published: Updated:

Pakistan’s participation in “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen would be an “addition to the coalition,” said military spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Asiri said Pakistan’s non-participation in the operation wouldn’t affect the coalition’s work.

Asiri added that the Pakistani government had not yet announced its official position.

The spokesman’s comments followed earlier reports about the Pakistani parliament’s adoption of a resolution on Yemen, urging the government to stay out of the conflict, despite Saudi’s request to join the coalition forces against the Houthis.

Meanwhile, coalition forces are blocking Houthi supply routes to Shabwah and Dhala in Yemen, Asiri said.

But he said Houthi militia were preventing essential oil supplies from reaching Yemeni civilians.

Asiri said Houthi militia were using schools and playing fields as shelters, as well as stores for ammunition and utilizing tunnels to move supplies. And he added that coalition airstrikes targeted a recreation ground in Aden where Houthi militia and forces allied to the deposed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh stored ammunition and weapons.

“Targeting the infrastructure is not one of our goals, but it is being done out of necessity.”

Speaking about humanitarian relief missions in Yemen, Asiri said the coalition facilitated the arrival of two planes carrying relief aid in the capital Sanaa.

He made the announcement after the first Red Cross plane carrying medical aid into Yemen landed in Sanaa airport, marking the organization’s first delivery of medical supplies since the beginning of the Saudi-led military campaign against Houthi militia.

The shipment was made up of “drugs and surgical instruments,” a spokeswoman told AFP via telephone from Sanaa airport after the arrival of the plane.