(Asharq Al-Awsat and Agencies) – Saudi Arabia said Friday it carried out airstrikes against “infiltrators” from Yemen that were limited to areas inside Saudi territory, and vowed to press on with the military action until the border with its restive neighbor was secure.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated Friday that the strikes were “focused on infiltrators in Jabal Dukhan and other targets within the range of operations within Saudi territory.”
An official source quoted by SPA said, “The entry of the gunmen to Saudi territory, the aggression against border patrols … and (their) presence on Saudi soil is a violation of sovereignty that gives the kingdom every right to take all measures to end this illegitimate presence.”
“The operations will continue until all sites within Saudi territory are cleared of any hostile element. We will also take all necessary precautions to prevent any future similar incidents”.”
The source added that armed forces units have been deployed to back border guards.
On Thursday, Saudi government officials said the air force had bombed Yemeni rebels who had seized a border area inside the kingdom, which they said had been recaptured. The officials said at least 40 rebels had been killed in the fighting.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday a security officer was killed and 11 were wounded in an attack by gunmen who had crossed the border from Yemen – the first such reported incursion since the long-running Houthi revolt flared up again in August.
Yemen’s army launched Operation Scorched Earth in August to crush the rebellion. Aid groups say around 150,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, which first broke out in 2004.