Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that they will be ending their bombing campaign against Yemen, The New York Times reported.
The coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen for nearly a month, as reported by The Inquisitr. The operation, called “Decisive Storm,” was aimed at protecting civilians against the Houthi rebel fighters. Saudi officials said that they had achieved their military goals in Yemen. Saudi Arabia will now be taking on a new political operation, called “Renewal Of Hope.”
A Saudi Defense Ministry statement, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, said about the bombing campaign,
“The airstrikes [have] ‘successfully managed to thwart the threat on the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries through destruction of the heavy weapons and ballistic missiles seized by the Houthi militias and troops loyal to [Ali Abdullah Saleh], including bases and camps of the Yemeni army.”
Brigadier-General Ahmed Al-Asiri, the spokesperson for the Saudi led coalition said that the old operation had served its purpose.
Asiri said about the campaign,
“The coalition has completed the ‘Decisive Storm’ campaign at the request of the Yemeni government and the president of Yemen,”
According to Reuters, senior Houthi leaders said that the political deal to end the conflict was being reached only hours after the announcement of the new operation.
Asiri said about the new operation,
“The primary goals of the campaign have been achieved and sovereignty has been protected. We are able to confirm that the Houthis are no longer a threat to Yemenis or neighboring countries.”
Asiri said that Saudi Arabia has not yet ruled out future bombing campaigns against the Houthis. Asiri also stated that Saudi Arabia will continue imposing its naval blockade against Yemen.
The United States government spoke in favor of Saudi Arabia’s announcement of their new operation in Yemen.
Alistair Baskey, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, said in a statement about the Saudi coalition,
“We continue to support the resumption of a UN-facilitated political process and the facilitation of humanitarian assistance,”
The Obama administration had been pressuring the Saudis and other Sunni Arab nations involved in the bombing campaign to end the airstrikes in order to prevent sparking a wider conflict in the region.
Yemen has been devoid of a central government, and thousands of people have been killed as a result of rebel fighting. Al Qaeda has also had the opportunity to expand its reach into the territory since the the destabilization of the Yemeni government.
There has also been the threat of the United States and Iran getting involved in the conflict, which would have set back talks between the nations over Iran’s nuclear program.