2-pronged strategy to crush Houthis

Shiite rebels known as Houthis chant slogans during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen.

Shiite rebels known as Houthis chant slogans during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen.

A coalition of Arab states vowed to coordinate political and military efforts to restore order in Yemen as Saudi-led warplanes Monday launched new airstrikes on Iran-backed Houthi Shiite rebels.

The raids killed at least 12 Houthi insurgents and allied forces as fighting continued across several provinces, military and local sources said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and the UAE armed forces chief, said the coalition is now working on military and political fronts to reestablish the legitimate authority in Sanaa.

The campaign’s new phase is based on a “multilayered strategy, including military, as well as politics and development, to reestablish the legitimacy,” he said.

“We have no other choice but to succeed in the test of Yemen,” Sheikh Mohammed said, quoted in UAE daily Al-Ittihad.

In New York, the UN Security Council went into closed-door consultations on the crisis in Yemen and to hear former envoy Jamal Benomar give a final report.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was to meet his Iranian counterpart, said he would urge Mohammed Javad Zarif to help ease the violence in Yemen, warning the country’s future should not be decided by “external parties.”

Yemen is expected to be the focus of a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers on Thursday, ahead of a leaders’ summit on May 5.

The latest air raids hit five schools converted by the Houthis into military bases in Ataq, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, military sources said.

The raids killed at least 12 insurgents and troops loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Also in Abyan, warplanes targeted rebel positions on the outskirts of Loder.


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