Yemen intervention will continue until govt restored: Saudi minister

The United Nations says thousands have been killed in Yemen's conflict since the Saudi-led coalition began its raids in March 2015 (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen will continue until the country's legitimate government is fully restored to power, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told AFP Thursday.

"It's a matter of time before the international coalition in Yemen succeeds in restoring the legitimate government... in control of all of Yemen's territory," he said.

"The support for the legitimate government will continue until the objectives are achieved or until an agreement is reached politically to achieve those objectives."

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab allies launched air strikes against Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels last March, after they seized control of large parts of Yemen and forced President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government to flee the capital Sanaa.

The Huthis have been backed by forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Jubeir said the coalition had helped the government reclaim more than three-quarters of Yemeni territory, open up supply lines for aid and "put enough pressure on the Huthis and Saleh for them to seriously consider a political process."

He dismissed claims that Saudi Arabia was mired in the conflict.

"A very, very small part of our total military is involved in Yemen and it is not bogged down," he said.