No plans yet for Yemen ground offensive: Decisive Storm

rig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said “the goals of phase I of the operations were achieved through air supremacy,”

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Saudi Arabia, who on Thursday evening launched a fresh round of airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, has “no mmediate plans” to launch ground operations in the crisis-hit country, however, forces are ready if necessary, a military spokesman said.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said “the goals of phase I of the operations were achieved through air supremacy,” citing the use of state-of-the-art air warplanes and logistics to destroy air defenses of the Houthi militia, attack their airbases, destroy on-the-ground aircraft and ballistic missiles and silence their command and control centers.

Saudi Arabia deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units on Thursday, after it launched its operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Read also: Decisive Storm: strikes on Houthi targets ‘successful’

Asiri said the air campaign began in the first hour of Thursday with air raids to target a number of key posts, Houthis air defenses, particularly surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and anti-aircraft artillery.

The spokesman of the Decisive Storm said the pilots were able in the first 15 minutes of the raids to have a complete control on the skies of Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

He explained that each air sortie consists of a large number of aircraft, including the fighters, refueling, early warning, reconnaissance, search and rescue.

For latest updates, visit: OPERATION DECISIVE STORM

Asiri said the Sanaa-based al-Dilaimi airbase, which includes Houthi warplanes, ammunition inventories, maintenance centers and technical support for aircraft was a major goal of the operation.

Reports emerged that top Houthi leadership Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi, Yousuf al-Madani, and Yousuf al-Fishi were killed, and head of the Revolutionary Committee for the Houthis, Mohammed Ali al-Hothi, was wounded.

Saudi allies including its Gulf counterparts - except Oman - also showcased their military power to curb the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from reaching Aden to dislodge Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who remained in the southern city.

The Gulf nations said they decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from the country’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

In their joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”

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