Dubai – The Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen for almost a month announced on Tuesday the end to its military operation, but a Saudi spokesman said forces would continue to target the Houthi movement as necessary.
“Operation Decisive Storm has achieved its goals…(including) removing the threat to Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries especially in terms of heavy weapons,” said a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA.
“With its end, the new Operation Restoring Hope begins with the following goals: continuing to protect civilians, continuing to fight terrorism and continuing to facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals and to intensify relief and medical assistance to the Yemeni people.”
The announcement suggested that the nearly month-long campaign of heavy airstrikes would be scaled down, but the spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, did not say they would stop. He said the coalition would continue to interdict rebel movements and protect civilians, without specifying how.
Speaking at a news conference in Riyadh, Asiri said the campaign’s objectives have been met as the rebels’ military capabilities had been destroyed, and that the operation would cease at midnight (2100 GMT).
The move suggests the campaign’s next phase is more political than military, especially after almost a month of bombing that destroyed or damaged heavy weaponry held by the Houthis’s allies in Yemen’s army, but that hostilities are not definitively over… see more