Saudi Arabian and Qatari army chiefs have met with their Algerian counterpart, asking Algiers to send its servicemen to Yemen, where Riyadh has been leading an unbridled military campaign since March 2015.
Earlier in October, the Saudi and Qatari top brass Abderrahmane Ben Salah al-Baniane and Ghanem Ben Chahin al-Ghanem met with Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army General Ahmed Gaïd-Salah, the Middle East Eye news portal reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed Algerian diplomat.
Algiers, who had last year turned down a request to join the war and offered only as far as logistical support, likewise refused the offer in line with its policy of non-interventionism.
“Algiers responded that it would consider the proposal, but for the time being, the general feeling is one of refusal,” said the diplomatic source.
The report said the two military officials, who had travelled to the North African country with large delegations in attendance, asked Algiers to become part of a Yemen-based “peacekeeping force.”
“Saudi Arabia wants to bring an end to the war and implement a peacekeeping force from various countries, who are trusted by Riyadh and Doha,” the diplomat continued.
Riyadh has come under international opprobrium for the sheer size of the casualties from the war it has launched in support of Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who has resigned and fled to the Saudi capital.
The offensive has so far killed 10,000 amid countless reports suggesting deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilian infrastructure by Saudi aircraft and mercenaries.
Observers say the warfare has cost the kingdom so much in terms of financial and political capital that it seeks to diminish its own role while enlisting the services of allies to gradually fill in its shoes.
So far, Riyadh has once tried and failed to bring in Pakistani forces, but Islamabad said it would only partake if Yemeni forces target Muslim holy sites inside Saudi Arabia.
On Friday, it was reported that Yemeni Army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees, which both side with Ansarullah, had launched a locally-designed and manufactured ballistic missile towards an area deep inside Saudi Arabia in response to the Riyadh regime’s atrocious aerial bombardments.
The forces fired a Borkan-1 (Volcano-1) missile towards King Abdulaziz International Airport, located 19 kilometers north of the western Saudi port city of Jeddah, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, later told the official Saba news agency that the 12.5-meter-long missile had accurately hit its target and left massive destruction at the airport.
Saudi media outlets, however, reported that the kingdom’s missile systems intercepted and destroyed the solid propellant and Scud-type missile before it could cause any damage.
The Saudi military also claimed that the Yemeni missile had been fired toward the holy city of Mecca, but the Houthi Ansarullah movement has rejected the claim.