Saudi Arabia Airstrikes in Yemen

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Escalating conflict threatens to draw in Iran

Yemen’s ruling Houthi militants organized demonstrations and lashed out at neighboring Saudi Arabia after it launched airstrikes against them early Thursday, threatening to turn a domestic conflict into a wider confrontation with sectarian overtones.

The strikes targeted Houthi military assets around the capital, San’a, and at a southern base. Houthi officials said 14 people were killed and dozens injured. Those figures couldn’t be independently confirmed.

Following the strikes, a Houthi revolutionary committee called for mass demonstrations to rally public support for a military response to the Saudi intervention. Houthi official Osama Sari said the militants weren’t scared by the strikes. “Our actions will speak for us, very soon,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday “commended the work of the coalition taking military action against the Houthis and noted the United States’ support for these coalition efforts,” according to a senior State Department official.

The strikes come at a delicate time for the U.S., as it and five other powers negotiate with Iran over a possible easing of sanctions in exchange for concessions on its disputed nuclear program.

While Ms. Mogherini condemned as “unacceptable” the advance of Shiite linked Houthi forces, she said a military response wouldn’t solve the crisis.

“I’m convinced that military action is not a solution,” she said. “At this critical juncture, all regional actors should act responsibly and constructively to create as a matter of urgency the conditions for a return to negotiations.”

The U.K. government said on Thursday that it supports Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen but isn’t contributing to the effort.

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