Mecca, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia has beefed up its presence along its southern border with Yemen, Asir Border Guard Commander Gen. Ahmed Al-Ghamdi said.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Saudi Border Guard Commander said: “The Border Guard troops in Asir are at the highest level of preparedness. Security in the region is self-sustaining and morale is high across the governorate.”
Asir governorate is located in southwest Saudi Arabia between the Jizan and Najran governorates and shares a short stretch of border with Yemen’s Saada governorate. Saada is the historical stronghold of the Shi’ite rebel Houthi militia that is being targeted in the aerial campaign Operation Decisive Storm led by Saudi Arabia. Fears of Houthi reprisal attacks on Saudi territory have increased since the launch of the operation.
Asir’s commander said his troops were covering the entire 24 mile border between Asir and Yemen.
“There is ongoing coordination between all Saudi forces, including ground and air forces,” he said.
“Things along the border are safe and secure. Our soldiers’ morale is high and they are performing their duties to a high level,” he added.
Cross-border infiltration from Yemen into Asir since the launch of Operation Decisive Storm has been practically non-existent, Ghamdi said. “We are ready and able to deal with any emergency.”
Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen continued on Saturday, targeting Houthi positions in the south that bolstered local ground forces repelling a Houthi advance on the strategic port city of Aden.
Urgently needed medical supplies were brought into Yemen by plane on Friday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said, with another plane carrying aid expected to land in Sana’a in the coming days.
The plane was carrying 16.4 tonnes of medicine, bandages, IV fluids and surgical equipment, enough to treat between 700 and 1,000 wounded people, the ICRC stated.
“This is a positive development, and we thank all those who made it possible. We hope that the coalition and the other parties to the conflict in Yemen will continue to cooperate with, and support, our efforts to keep bringing in aid supplies,” Cedric Schweizer, who leads the ICRC team in Yemen, said.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Al-Ayedh in Asir.