Saudi Halts Flights at Airports near Yemen Border

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Saudi Arabia halted flights at seven airports near the Yemeni border on Thursday, as it launched air strikes against Huthi rebels in its southern neighbor, the civil aviation department said.

"The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia announced a temporary suspension of international and domestic flights to and from airports in the south of the kingdom," from dawn on Thursday, the department said in a statement.

Flights have been halted at Jazan, Abha, Wadi al-Dawasir, Bisha, Sharurah, Najran, and Al-Baha "until further notice."

Saudi warplanes bombed Huthi rebels in Yemen on Thursday, as the kingdom said it had assembled a coalition of more than 10 countries to check the rebels' advance on the Aden stronghold of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi and prevent his fall.

The rebels and their allies within the armed forces had been closing in on the southern port city where Hadi has been holed up since fleeing the rebel-controlled capital Sanaa last month.

The advance had raised fears in Saudi Arabia that the Shiite minority rebels would seize control of the whole of its Sunni-majority neighbor and take it into the orbit of regional rival Iran.

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