Saudi Arabia said today it was halting a nearly month-long bombing campaign against the Huthi (AnsarAllah) insurgents in Yemen. A Saudi government spokesman said the objectives of “Operation Decisive Storm” have been “achieved,” asserting that a takeover of Yemen by the Huthis had been prevented.
Meantime, a senior Iranian official said in Tehran hours prior to the suspension of Saudi airstrikes that he expected a ceasefire in Yemen to be announced.
“We are optimistic that in coming hours, after many efforts, we will see a halt to military attacks in Yemen,” said Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister. Iranian Foreign Ministry later welcomed Saudi announcement, calling it “a step forward.” (IRNA/NYTimes, 21 April)
Saudi and Iranian announcements within hours could suggest secret negotiations between the two countries on the issue. If so, a ceasefire and peace talks between the warring factions could soon follow.
File photo: Smoke rises after a Saudi airstrike on Yemen’s largest weapons depot in Sanaa; 20 April 2015 (Hani Mohammed/AP)