Jordan participates in Saudi-led operation in Yemen: official

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordanian air force fighter jets are participating in the Saudi- led operation with its Arab allies against Houthi fighters in Yemen, a Jordanian official source said on Thursday.

“This is in line with supporting legitimacy in Yemen and its security and stability ... Yemen and the Gulf’s security is a high strategic interest (for Jordan),” an official Jordanian source told Reuters.

A joint statement by the five Gulf Arab countries said Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar had decided to act to protect Yemen against what they called aggression by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

Jordan has close ties to the Gulf states and depends heavily on regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia for shoring up its economy.

“Jordan will not forget in particular Saudi Arabia’s support and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s support during all circumstances,” the Jordanian government source said.

The official source declined to comment on reports that the kingdom could provide ground forces for the widescale operation launched on Thursday that Yemeni sources say has hit several bases held by the Houthis.

Saudi Arabia acted after the Houthis, backed by Yemeni army troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, advanced on Aden, threatening the southern city where President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is based.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Tom Heneghan