Officials said the Believing Youth movement was receiving weapons
shipments from Iran to maintain the rebellion in northern Yemen. They said
the Saudi warhips were under orders to stop and search any suspicious ship
the Yemeni coast.
In October 2009, Yemen reported the capture of an Iranian-operated
weapons ship near the northern coast. Five Iranian crew members were
captured and interrogated.
Over the last two weeks, the Saudi military launched its biggest
offensive since the 1991 war with Iraq. Officials said the Royal Saudi Air
Force has been using its fleet of F-15, Tornado and AH-64 aircraft. Most of
the air strikes emanated from the Tabouk air base.
"We are not going to stop the bombing until the Houthis [Shi'ite rebels]
retreat tens of kilometers inside their border," Saudi Deputy Defense
Minister Prince Khaled Bin Sultan said.
Officials said the Saudi naval blockade has been coordinated with Yemen.
They said both Riyad and Sanaa agree that Iran was relaying surface-to-air
missiles and other weapons to the Believing Youth, at war with the Sanaa
regime since 2004.
"The rebels began planning attacks in Saudi Arabia as early as
September," an official said. "They tried to exploit the absence of Saudi
forces along the border."