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Pakistan Says Saudis Asked For Troops, Ships, Planes For Yemen Campaign

Pakistan's defense minister says a Saudi-led coalition targeting Shi'ite rebels in Yemen has asked Islamabad for military aircraft, warships, and ground troops.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif made the comments on April 6 as Pakistan's parliament debates whether to contribute militarily to the campaign against the rebels, known as Huthis.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has offered his verbal support for the mission.

The Saudi-led campaign entered its 12th day on April 6, targeting rebels who took over the capital, Sanaa, in September and eventually forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi to flee.

Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf's main Sunni Muslim power and Sunni-majority Pakistan have close ties.

Last year, the Saudis gave Pakistan $1.5 billion. Saudi Arabia also sheltered Sharif after he was overthrown in a 1999 military coup.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP