Politics

Saudi ambassador announces military campaign in Yemen

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, Wednesday. Al-Jubeir says his country began airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who drove out the U.S.-backed Yemeni president.
Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, Wednesday. Al-Jubeir says his country began airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who drove out the U.S.-backed Yemeni president.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Saudi ambassador to the United States says his country has begun airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who drove out the U.S.-backed Yemeni president.

Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir says the operations began at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

He says the Houthis, widely believed to be backed by Iran, "have always chosen the path of violence." He declined to say whether the Saudi campaign involved U.S. intelligence assistance.

Al-Jubeir made the announcement at a rare news conference by the Sunni kingdom.

He says the Saudis "will do anything necessary" to protect the people of Yemen and "the legitimate government of Yemen."

The departure of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi illustrated how one of the most important American counter terrorism efforts has disintegrated.