Yemeni civilians' protection is top priority, Saudi-led coalition says


Saudi helicopter came down during military operations in Yemen on Tuesday, killing 12 officers aboard, Saudi media reported, and a Yemeni defence ministry news website said the cause was friendly fire.

He has also initiated a review of United States assistance to the coalition in its campaign backing the internationally recognised Yemeni government and its allies against the Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia "did not need to wait for Yemen to become another missile base that threatens the security and safety of Saudi Arabia, as the Iranians planned to do, to turn Yemen into a military base, from which they could attack the kingdom", said Asiri, who serves as both the spokesman for Saudi operations in Yemen and as advisor to the defense minister.

"The percentage of renewable energy by 2023 will represent 10 percent of the total electricity of the kingdom", he said at the start of the Saudi Arabia Renewable Energy Investment Forum.

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In September 2015, a rebel missile strike on a coalition base in Marib killed 67 coalition soldiers, a lot of them Emiratis. It was the deadliest day for its military in the UAE's 44-year history. Asked whether the Trump administration plans to increase its military support, Mattis responded by saying the USA focus is on arranging a United Nations-brokered negotiating team to resolve Yemen's civil war diplomatically.

Washington alleges that Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival, has shipped missiles to Yemen but Tehran denies the charge.

On Monday, a delegation from the Russian parliament's upper house, headed by its speaker Valentina Matvienko, concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where it held meetings with the country's top officials.

Seven ceasefires brokered between government and rebel forces by the United Nations have failed, while UN-backed peace talks have repeatedly broken down. President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi insists on the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions which stipulate that the Houthis pull their militias from the cities and hand over heavy weapons, while the Shiite rebels demand on a power-sharing deal before taking any security-related steps.

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The U.S. military is providing support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting anti-government Houthi rebels.

Over the past weeks, fighting has been intensified in the western coastline regions.

Last month, the Houthis claimed that they shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter over the Red Sea port of Hudaydah, which they control.

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