26 March 2015, News Wires – Saudi Arabia is to step up security around its oilfields and installations as the country leads a campaign of air strikes against rebel forces in Yemen.
The top Opec producer is also to beef up security at its borders and around industrial facilities, state-owned Saudi Press Agency reported.
Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef said at a meeting to review developments in Yemen that Saudi Arabia will be “strengthening all security measures on the borders of the kingdom and in all public utilities and around the oil and industrial facilities”.
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of regional partners in air strikes against Houthi Shia rebels in Yemen who are threatening to overthrow the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Warplanes carried out strikes on Wednesday night under Operation Storm of Resolve, with the US providing logistical and intelligence support.
According to regional reports, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco and Sudan have all contributed aircraft to the operation. Jordan, Sudan and Pakistan are reportedly prepared to send in ground troops if needed. Only Oman has abstained among regional players.
Hadi took refuge in the port town of Aden last month after rebels began to overrun the capital Sanaa. The Houthis seized the central city of Taiz last weekend.
The Saudi intervention sent crude oil prices up on Thursday as the country’s largest oilfields are located in its Shia-populated Eastern Province, near to Yemen.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal recently said Arab nations would take necessary measures to protect the region against “aggression” by the Houthi movement if a peaceful solution could not be found.