Saudi Campaign in Yemen Shifts as Deal to Resume Talks Nears

The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has entered a new phase. Yesterday, Saudi officials announced that they were concluding Operation Decisive Storm, the name of their campaign, and that they had achieved their objectives. They said they are now initiating a new phase, Operation Restoring Hope, which will focus on reviving a political process in Yemen, ...

470536336

The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has entered a new phase. Yesterday, Saudi officials announced that they were concluding Operation Decisive Storm, the name of their campaign, and that they had achieved their objectives. They said they are now initiating a new phase, Operation Restoring Hope, which will focus on reviving a political process in Yemen, but will still contain a military component. “The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen,” a Saudi general explained. For the first time in weeks, Saudi airstrikes stopped overnight, but resumed this morning after Houthi forces seized a military base near Taiz. Clashes also continued in Aden, where local forces said they will not stop their resistance to the Houthis. Saudi and Houthi officials say they are close to reaching an agreement to reinitiate political dialogue.

At least 944 people have been killed and more than 3,500 wounded since the start of the Saudi intervention, according to the World Health Organization, and a naval blockade of the country has created food and fuel scarcities. Yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the deaths of 4 employees of a Yemeni media company in a recent airstrike. President Obama stressed the necessity of a political dialogue in Yemen in an interview last night, and the administration reportedly pressured Saudi Arabia to end the air campaign with one official citing “too much collateral damage.” Ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose support for the Houthis has been decisive for their success, issued a statement endorsing the resumption of talks.

Islamic State Leader Wounded, Not in Full Control

The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has entered a new phase. Yesterday, Saudi officials announced that they were concluding Operation Decisive Storm, the name of their campaign, and that they had achieved their objectives. They said they are now initiating a new phase, Operation Restoring Hope, which will focus on reviving a political process in Yemen, but will still contain a military component. “The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen,” a Saudi general explained. For the first time in weeks, Saudi airstrikes stopped overnight, but resumed this morning after Houthi forces seized a military base near Taiz. Clashes also continued in Aden, where local forces said they will not stop their resistance to the Houthis. Saudi and Houthi officials say they are close to reaching an agreement to reinitiate political dialogue.

At least 944 people have been killed and more than 3,500 wounded since the start of the Saudi intervention, according to the World Health Organization, and a naval blockade of the country has created food and fuel scarcities. Yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the deaths of 4 employees of a Yemeni media company in a recent airstrike. President Obama stressed the necessity of a political dialogue in Yemen in an interview last night, and the administration reportedly pressured Saudi Arabia to end the air campaign with one official citing “too much collateral damage.” Ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose support for the Houthis has been decisive for their success, issued a statement endorsing the resumption of talks.

Islamic State Leader Wounded, Not in Full Control

The Islamic State’s self-appointed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was reportedly wounded in an airstrike last month in Iraq’s Nineveh Province. He sustained severe injuries and is no longer in control of the organization’s day-to-day operations, reports the Guardian. The Islamic State has also suffered another setback in Iraq, where Iraqi Security Forces have now retaken the outskirts of Ramadi, including a hospital.

Headlines

  • Citing concerns about diplomatic blowback with Turkey, President Obama will not use the word “genocide” in remarks commemorating the centenary of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic effort to purge its Armenian population.

 

  • Syrian rebel groups said that Assad regime forces suffered severe losses, including the death of an Iranian general, before retreating from an attack on Deraa.

 

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu requested additional assistance preventing the flow of foreign fighters across the Turkey-Syria border, noting that the Turkish government now maintains a 12,800-name no-entry list.

 

  • Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 resume today in Vienna as diplomats try to resolve the technical aspects of a comprehensive agreement by the end of June.

 

  • Gunmen shot and killed two Egyptian policemen in Cairo on Tuesday night.

-J. Dana Stuster

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

More from Foreign Policy

Bill Clinton and Joe Biden  at a meeting of the U.S. Congressional delegation to the NATO summit in Spain on July 7, 1998.

Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis

The greatest tragedy about Russia’s potential invasion is how easily it could have been avoided.

A report card is superimposed over U.S. President Joe Biden.

Is Biden’s Foreign Policy Grade A Material?

More than 30 experts grade the U.S. president’s first year of foreign policy.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan gives a press briefing.

Defining the Biden Doctrine

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan sat down with FP to talk about Russia, China, relations with Europe, and year one of the Biden presidency.

Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the armed conflict with Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk region of the country attend the handover ceremony of military heavy weapons and equipment in Kiev on November 15, 2018.

The West’s Weapons Won’t Make Any Difference to Ukraine

U.S. military equipment wouldn’t realistically help Ukrainians—or intimidate Putin.