Saudi King Orders 100,000 National Guard to Engage in Yemen
Saudi Arabia's National Guard, a ground forces of 100,000 men other than the army, has been ordered by King Salman to engage in the war against neighboring Yemen.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Tuesday that Salman has urged the mobilization of the ground forces and its involvement in the war against Yemen.
There has been no detail on how the National Guard, which is a parallel army in Saudi Arabia separate from the armed forces run by the Defense Ministry, will operate.
National Guard Minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah said he was "honored" by Salman's "decision that National Guard forces take part" in the aggression against Yemen.
The minister further reported the "complete readiness of all National Guard forces to carry out this role alongside other military bodies."
The Saudi move comes after it dismissed on Monday a call by the United Nations (UN) to immediately halt its airstrikes on the impoverished country of Yemen.
Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a meeting that “certain conditions” mentioned in the recently-adopted UN Security Council resolution on Yemen must be met before an immediate ceasefire is implemented.
On Friday, Ban called for an immediate “ceasefire,” saying a political solution is the best way out of the conflict in the Arab country.
“I am calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen by all parties… It is time to support corridors for lifesaving aid and a passage to real peace,” Ban said.
The Security Council approved the resolution on Yemen on April 14, demanding, among other things, that the popular committees backed by Houthi Ansarullah movement pull back from the seized territories, including the capital, Sana’a.
The resolution also imposed an arms embargo against the Ansarullah fighters in addition to asset freeze and a travel ban against Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi movement.
Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 - without a UN mandate - in a bid to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.
According to reports, over 2,810 people have been killed during the aggression.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought clearances to dispatch medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea to civilians in need.
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