The battle for the last scrap of land held by ISIS has taken longer than expected.
Saudi Arabia Launches Air Strikes in Yemen
Saudi Arabia and Gulf region allies have launched military operations including air strikes in Yemen, officials said, to counter Iran-allied forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the Yemeni president had taken refuge. Gulf broadcaster Al-Arabiya TV reported that the Kingdom was contributing as many as 150,000 troops and 100 warplanes to the operations. Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Pakistan were ready to take part in a ground offensive in Yemen, it said. There was no immediate confirmation of those figures from Riyadh. Al-Arabiya also said the UAE was sending 30 warplanes to join the operation, along with 15 each from Bahrain and Kuwait, 10 from Qatar, six each from Jordan and Morocco and three from Sudan. The air strikes came soon after Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir, announced the operation. “We will do whatever it takes in order to protect the legitimate government of Yemen from falling,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference in Washington.