Saudi Arabia has made no decision about whether to send ground troops into Yemen but is keeping its options open, the country’s ambassador to the United States said on Sunday.
In separate comments on NBC and CBS television channels, Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was committed to completing its air campaign aimed at dislodging Iranian-backed Houthis rebels who have taken over much of its southern neighbour Yemen.
Asked about the possible use of ground troops, he said, “I don’t know that anyone wants to go into Yemen but we don’t rule anything out. Right now the objective is being achieved through an air campaign.”
Yemen’s chaos may further complicate efforts by world powers to convince Tehran to scale back its nuclear research programme in return for easing economic sanctions. A self-imposed deadline to reach a framework agreement expires on Tuesday.
Shi’ite power Iran has strongly condemned the offensive against the Houthis, who belong to a Shi’ite sect.