Saudi-led Coalition Ends Yemen Airstrike Campaign

Airstrikes on Iran-backed Houthis comes to an end after 'achieving its goals,' with Saudis announcing new 'Operation Restoration of Hope.'

Ari Yashar,

Saudi Jet on the Tarmac (file)
Saudi Jet on the Tarmac (file)
Reuters

The Saudi-led Arab coalition has ended its airstrike campaign against Iran-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen on Tuesday, according to reports on Saudi TV cited by BBC.

After saying the objectives of the operation, dubbed "Operation Decisive Storm," were achieved, a Saudi defense ministry statement announced on Tuesday the launching of "Operation Restoration of Hope" in Yemen.

The new operation will supposedly focus on finding a political solution in Yemen, where the Saudi coalition has aimed to place President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in power. It also is to try and boost security and counter-terrorism in the country and its borders with neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Saudi coalition spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri announced in Riyadh that the ending of the airstrike campaign came at the request of Hadi's government.

The Saudi statement announcing the new operation, which will begin on Wednesday, stressed that the new phase does not constitute a "ceasefire," and will see it continue to try and stabilize Yemen.

"Operation Decisive Storm" was launched on March 26, and has included a total of 2,415 airstrikes.

According to a Saudi defense ministry statement the operation has "succeeded," and has destroyed ballistic missiles belong to the Houthis and militias loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The airstrike campaign was launched after the Houthis toppled the government and seized control of the capital city of Sana'a in January, putting Hadi under house arrest. He later escaped to the strategic southern port city of Aden in February, but he fled the country in late March when the Houthis began marching on Aden, before capturing central parts of the city.

It is widely assessed that the Saudi-led strikes have largely failed in halting the Houthi advance to the south.

If they succeed in fully capturing Aden, the Iran-backed rebels will have control of access to the Red Sea, and ultimately to Israel's southern port of Eilat.




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