Yemeni minister says Saudi-led attacks to last a “few days”

Cairo, March 28 (IANS/EFE):  Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said on Friday that the Saudi-led military offensive against the Shia Houthi movement will last for a few days.

Speaking to Saudi television channel Al-Arabiya, the foreign minister, loyal to Yemeni President Adb Rabbu Mansour Hadi, denied that the Operation al-Hazm Storm would stretch into a weeks-long affair.

However, Yassin acknowledged the possibility of a ground operation, if it were required.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Operation al-Hazm Storm, Saudi General Ahmed al-Asiri said on Thursday that a ground operation in Yemen has not yet been planned, but likewise did not rule out the possibility, if necessary.

The Yemeni minister noted that aerial bombings have only targeted the headquarters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi militia positions.

Yassin explained that President Hadi will propose at the Arab League summit, which will commence on Saturday in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, a Marshall Plan for the development and unity of Yemen, referring to the US initiative to rebuild European countries after World War II.

Saudi Arabia, leading the coalition of Arab countries that includes, among others, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, launched an air offensive early Thursday morning against Houthis in Yemen in order to stop the advance of the Shia militias.