Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has confirmed that Egypt is ready to deploy ground troops in Yemen ‘if needed’.
The Foreign Minister’s statements came as Arab Foreign Ministers met for an Arab League summit in Egypt’s red sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The confirmation comes hours after Saudi Arabia declared that Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have all joined a coalition to protect ‘the legitimate Yemeni government’ and its people.
Earlier on Thursday, Egypt’s state media Al-Ahram reported that Egypt is coordinating with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries in the “Firmness/Decisive Storm” operation. The military support may include aerial, naval or ground support if needed, said Al-Ahram.
Following the announcement, Turkey, which has had rocky relations with Egypt and some Gulf countries, declared its support for the military intervention in Yemen.
Meanwhile, the United States vowed to provide “logistical and intelligence” support to the operation which has not yet been officially endorsed by the United Nations.
However, Iran has warned against the intervention in Yemen, saying that it would led to consequences. Iranian television reported that Saudi Arabia’s air strikes had killed 13 civilians in the capital city of Sana’a.
According to initial reports, senior Houthi leaders are alleged to have been killed in night-time airstrikes by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has said its force includes more than 100 warplanes and more than 130,000 ground troops.