Yemeni warplane fleet destroyed in raids, Saudis say

The Washington Post reports: The first three days of airstrikes by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have destroyed Yemen’s fleet of fighter aircraft and crippled military command centers, dealing a blow to Houthi insurgents, a senior defense official in Riyadh said.

In a statement published Saturday evening by the Saudi Press Agency, Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri said that rebels “are no longer possessing” jet fighters. The coalition air raids also destroyed most of the groups’ arsenal of ground-to-ground ballistic missiles and command-and-control centers, he said.

Analysts say that the attacks are part of strategy to eliminate the air defenses, weapons arsenals and communication lines of the Shiite insurgents so as to ease the way for a potential land invasion. Many residents in the destitute Arabian Peninsula nation fear a ground assault, and. Gen. Asiri hinted that the Saudi-led campaign would continue, telling the news agency that the first phase of attacks had been “achieved.” [Continue reading…]

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