Brig. Gen. Ahmad Assiri, of the Saudi defense minister’s office, told a press briefing in Riyadh Saturday that Saudi ground and air forces had destroyed Houthi groups on their way to the kingdom’s southern border. He ducked questions about repots that Egyptian naval units had prevented Iranian warships from intervening in the war, saying only: “The operation’s goals were clear.” Gen. Assiri went on to report that it took the state-of- the-art warplanes led by the Saudi air force 15 minutes to gain control of Yemen air space and destroy Houthi air defenses, their air bases and ammunitions stores and their long-range surface missiles.
“Currently, there is no plan for the participation of ground forces in the ongoing operation, but if necessary, the Saudi ground forces as well as the ground forces of friendly and sisterly countries are ready to deter aggression,” the general said.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: The Saudis now fear that the Iran-backed Houthis and their Yemeni army allies may decide to shoot missiles at Mecca and the southern Yemeni port of Aden in reprisal for the Saudi-Gulf-Egyptian offensive.