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Country launches air strike against Houthi rebels in Yemen

Saudi ambassador in the US, Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia acted to "defend the legitimate government" of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Following Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's appeal to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) for military assistance against the Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes in Yemen against the group.

Saudi ambassador in the US, Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia acted to "defend the legitimate government" of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

BBC reports that supporters of President Hadi say that they recaptured Aden airport today, Thursday after heavy fighting with forces allied to Houthi fighters.

President Hadi had earlier fled to Sanaa after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels made rapid gains in recent months.

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Reacting to the Saudi intervention,  Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior Houthi rebel warned that the Saudi operation amounted to an aggression against Yemen and could set off a "wide war" in the region.

Saudi Arabia is supplying 100 warplanes and 150,000 soldiers for the operation while Jordanian officials say that its air force jets are taking part in the operation.

The Saudi Peace Agency (SPA) also said that the operation had the support of Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan which were willing if necessary to take part.

The body also said GCC members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates agreed to answer President Hadi's call for help.

The embattled Yemeni president had also asked the UN Security Council to back military action by "willing countries" against the Houthi rebels even as reports emerged yesterday, Wednesday, that he had fled his palace in Aden as the rebels advanced towards the southern port city.

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Yemeni government officials however denied the reports.

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