The Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government confirmed that its warplanes were bombing rebel targets on Thursday following rebel drone attacks that closed a Saudi pipeline.
"We have begun to launch air strikes targeting sites operated by the Houthi militia, including in Sanaa," a coalition official, who declined to be identified, told AFP.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia also tweeted a statement saying that the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen announced its implementation of air operations on a number of legitimate military targets, including bases, military installations, weapons and ammunition stores for the Houthi terrorist militias.
The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region, and not to protect the people of Yemen as the Houthis falsely claim.— Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) May 16, 2019
The terrorist acts, ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis, are tightening the noose around the ongoing political efforts.— Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) May 16, 2019
Warplanes struck in and around the rebel-held Yemeni capital Thursday two days after the Houthi rebels claimed drone strikes that shut a key oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.
One witness told AFP he heard a loud explosion in the heart of Sanaa.
A second witness told AFP that the raids began around 8 am (0500 GMT) while many Yemenis were asleep.
"There were many strikes," he added.
On Tuesday, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for twin drone strikes on Saudi Arabia's main east-west oil pipeline.
The pipeline, which can carry five million barrels of crude per day, provides a strategic alternative route for Saudi exports if the shipping lane from the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz is closed.
Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the vital conduit for global oil supplies in case of a military confrontation with the United States.
The Saudi cabinet called on Wednesday for "confronting terrorist entities which carry out such sabotage acts, including the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen."
Key ally the United Arab Emirates echoed the call.
"We will retaliate and we will retaliate hard when we see Houthis hitting civilian targets like what happened in Saudi Arabia," the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Wednesday.