ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that Pakistan was examining Saudi Arabia’s request to join the Gulf-led operation against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In her weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam confirmed that Saudi Arabia has contacted Pakistan to provide assistance to overcome on-going crisis in Yemen.
The spokesperson said that the Pakistani community in Yemen has been alerted in view of the current situation there. However, she added, no decision has so far been taken to shut down the embassy.
Tasnim Aslam said that the mission has been asked to remain alert for evacuation of Pakistani community in case the situation further deteriorates.
The Saudi Arabian forces joined by nine other countries on Thursday launched a military operation in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels, according to the Saudi ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.
The offensive which started with airstrikes will also involve other military assets.
In his address at a news conference in Washington, the Saudi envoy to the US said that the airstrikes are aimed at protecting the people and the legitimate government of Yemen.
Meanwhile, the US President Barack Obama authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-led military operations in Yemen.
In a statement, the White House confirmed that Washington had close communication with Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Saudis and other GCC states prior to the launch of the military operation.
“While US forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate US military and intelligence support,” the statement said.