SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen will continue until Shiite rebels there “withdraw and surrender their weapons,” a summit of Arab leaders decided Sunday, as they also agreed in principle to forming a joint military force.
The decision by the Arab League puts it on a path to potentially more aggressively challenge Shiite power Iran, which is backing the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis.
A Saudi-led coalition began bombing Yemen on Thursday, saying it was targeting the Houthis and their allies, which include forces loyal to Yemen’s former leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
At the summit, held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby read a final communique outlining the leaders’ views.
“Yemen was on the brink of the abyss, requiring effective Arab and international moves after all means of reaching a peaceful resolution have been exhausted to end the Houthi coup and restore legitimacy,” Elaraby said.