(AA) – At least 185 warplanes have been deployed in a Saudi-led military offensive by several Arab states against Yemen’s Shiite Houthi militant group, according to official figures.
With 100 fighter jets, Riyadh has contributed the largest number of warplanes to the offensive, according to Saudi officials.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), meanwhile, has deployed 30 warplanes, while Kuwait and Bahrain have pitched in with 15 jets each.
Qatar, for its part, said it was contributing ten warplanes, while Jordan and Morocco announced they had contributed six warplanes each.
Sudan has also announced its participation in the offensive, contributing three fighter jets.
Riyadh claims that coalition airstrikes have “completely destroyed” the Houthis’ air-defense capabilities.
In a joint statement issued earlier Thursday, five Gulf States – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait – said the operation had come “in response to a request by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen from the aggression of Houthi militias.”
The statement went on to accuse the Houthis of being “the tool of foreign powers that seek to harm Yemen’s security and stability.”
Egypt and Pakistan, for their part, have signaled their readiness to deploy ground forces for the operation.
The United States also said it was ready to provide logistical and intelligence support for the anti-Houthi offensive.
Saudi Arabia deployed troops along the border with Yemen on Tuesday after the Houthis advanced in force on Yemen’s southern city of Aden, where embattled President Hadi remains holed up.
Yemen has been rocked by turmoil since last September, when pro-Houthi forces overran Sanaa, from where they have since sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
Some Gulf States accuse Shiite Iran of supporting the Houthi insurgency.