CAIRO: Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz ordered Tuesday the National Royal Guard to participate in the ongoing military camping to curb the Houthi group in Yemen, Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV channel reported.
The kingdom launched the campaign four weeks ago in cooperation with most Gulf countries except Oman, along with effective participation from Egypt and Jordan. Operation Decisive Storm so far has included bombing Houthi sites.
Shiite Houthi fighters took control of northern parts of Yemen last September, and took control of the capital Sanaa in January. President Hadi was forced to resign and placed under house arrest, but in February he escaped to Aden, and declared he was still the president, and Aden the new capital.
Press reports and critics had been questioning the timing of sending ground forces to Yemen, as military experts reckon that imposing control over a region through air strikes is not enough.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement two weeks ago to perform military maneuvers using different branches of both armies (field, navy and air forces.) The first maneuver is expected to take place soon on Saudi territory.
Observers believe that this agreement is such an issued warning for Houthis, who have been supported by Iran, which has deemed the Houthi takeover a “revolution.”
Although Cairo officially declared that it supported a political consensus in terms of solving the Yemen crisis, there are expectations that Egyptian military may join a ground force, especially after Pakistan announced that it would not join the campaign.