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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman waves as he meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 11, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia could launch a land offensive in Yemen to crush its Iranian-aligned Houthi enemies but the cost in casualties would be heavy on both sides, the kingdom's powerful deputy crown prince said on Tuesday.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is Saudi defence minister, also said in a nationally-televised interview that Riyadh's decision to mount a military campaign to end Houthi control of swathes of Yemen in 2015 was necessary to restore the country's internationally-recognised government.

He added that Riyadh was unable to hold a dialogue with its arch-rival Iran because of what he called the Islamic Republic's extremist ideology.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclean and Gareth Jones)

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