U.S. authorizes logistical, intelligence support to Saudi operation in Yemen

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized logistical and intelligence help in support of a Saudi-led military operation in Yemen to beat back Houthi militia forces, the White House said late on Wednesday.

“While U.S. 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 U.S. military and intelligence support,” a White House statement said.

The United States is also closely monitoring threats by the al Qaeda branch in Yemen “and will continue to take action as necessary to disrupt continuing, imminent threats to the United States and our citizens,” it added. (Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Howard Goller)