Saudi special forces 'involved in Yemen ops'

2015-04-04 20:12
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Riyadh - Saudi Arabian special forces are involved in the military operation against Shi’ite Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, a Saudi adviser said on Saturday.

A Saudi-led coalition began air strikes on March 26 against the Iran-backed rebels, but says it has no plans for now to deploy ground forces.

However, Saudi army and naval special forces have carried out specific operations, said the adviser, without revealing if they had actually set foot on the ground.

Army special forces supplied weapons and communications equipment to militia loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in the main southern city of Aden, the adviser told AFP.

Naval special forces provided "coordination and guidance" to enable the loyalist fighters to launch a counter-attack on the rebels.

Special forces "will continue their engagements" with the fighters loyal to Hadi, who has sought refuge in Saudi Arabia, said the adviser, who did not want to be identified.

He said army and navy special forces were also involved in operations against Huthi units that "invaded" Myun Island in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, through which much of the world's maritime trade passes.

On Friday, the coalition announced that air strikes had destroyed "military equipment and missiles" on the island, which could have posed a threat to shipping.

"Special forces have isolated the island as the operation continues to destroy all remnants of Huthi presence" which was supported by "foreign military" technicians, the Saudi adviser said.

Iran has dismissed as "utter lies" claims that it supplied weapons to Yemen, but a Western diplomat told AFP "there have been a lot of shipments".

Shi’ite Iran, which backs the Huthis, has accused Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia of sowing instability in the region.

The kingdom's ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, had on Thursday hinted at a special forces role, saying that "we don't have troops, formal Saudi troops in Aden".

The issue of ground troops is "on the table but the decisions will be made depending on the circumstances and the need", he was quoted as saying by the Saudi-US Relations Information Service.

Read more on:    abedrabbo mansour hadi  |  yemen  |  saudi arabia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.