Saudi Arabia Denies Deployment of Ground Troops Outside Kingdom at Present
22:08 16.02.2016(updated 22:45 16.02.2016)
Saudi Arabia has no ground troops deployed outside the kingdom at present, including in Yemen, a Saudi defense ministry adviser said Tuesday.
CAIRO (Sputnik) – Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states began airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen at the request of President Hadi, causing hundreds of civilian casualties. According to the Yemeni Health Ministry, the bombardments of the coalition in the country have killed over 7,000 people and injured more than 16,500.
'All our ground units are currently deployed within the kingdom's borders,' Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri told RIA Novosti.
'Our forces are not taking part in the ground operation in Yemen, only our military advisers are there. The ground campaign is carried out solely by the Yemeni army with the air support provided by the coalition forces,' Asiri stressed.
The adviser's statements come following last week's media reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia could send thousands of ground forces to Syria to take part in the fight against the Daesh jihadist group. At the moment, Riyadh is a part of the US-led international coalition that conducts anti-Daesh airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
In mid-December 2015, Saudi Arabia started its own Muslim 34-nation coalition to fight Islamic extremism. The joint operation command center is based in the Saudi capital.
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