LOS ANGELES TIMES

SANA'A, Yemen - Saudi-led warplanes pounded military installations in Yemen on Friday in a campaign aimed at halting the advance of Shiite Muslim rebels and ensuring the return of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who has fled the country.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, a spokesman for the campaign dubbed "Operation Decisive Storm," told reporters in Saudi Arabia that the airstrikes were destroying rebel-held air defense systems, bases, aircraft, and missiles. He said there were no immediate plans for a ground assault, but the coalition assembled by the Saudis was ready "to deter any aggression of any kind."

Egyptian security officials told the Associated Press on Thursday that troops would invade from Saudi Arabia and from ships off the coast after Yemen's rebel-held defenses had been weakened.

Yemen's foreign minister, Riyadh Yassin, told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television that he expected the campaign to be over in a matter of days and that Hadi would return after attending a weekend summit in Egypt.

He said one of the goals was to prevent Tehran from providing weapons and training to the rebels, saying he has seen proof that members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps were in Yemen.

Both Iran and the rebels have denied such accusations in the past, although they acknowledge that Tehran has provided diplomatic and logistic support.