• At least seven individuals were reported dead Saturday in air assaults on Sanaa and Hodeidah by the Saudi-led coalition.
  • This is a serious invitation and tangible steps toward reestablishing confidence and moving all parties from the realm of words to the realm of actions.
  • The Houthis have rejected Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and home to the GCC’s headquarters, as a venue for talks, stating that they would not undertake negotiations in “enemy countries.”

 

 

“Permanent” Ceasefire

Yemen’s Houthi group has proclaimed a three-day ceasefire and hinted at the possibility of a “permanent” ceasefire if the Saudi-led coalition’s operations against the impoverished country are halted. The declaration came a day after a wave of drone and missile attacks targeted locations around Saudi Arabia, including an oil plant near the Jeddah Formula One race, sparking an inferno.

At least seven individuals were reported dead Saturday in air assaults on Sanaa and Hodeidah by the Saudi-led coalition. According to the Houthis, the coalition’s attack targeted a power plant, a fuel supply station, and the capital’s state-run social insurance office.

 

Later that day, Houthi political leader Mahdi al-Mashat announced a three-day cessation of missile and drone assaults, as well as all military operations. “This is a serious invitation and tangible steps toward reestablishing confidence and moving all parties from the realm of words to the realm of actions,” al-Mashat added. “And we are prepared to convert this proclamation into a final and permanent commitment if Saudi Arabia commits to permanently ending the siege and halting its raids on Yemen,” he continued. Saudi Arabia made no quick comment (Aljazeera, 2022).

 

 

The Saudis would be prudent to accept the Houthi’s offer

According to Annelle Sheline, a Middle East research fellow at the US-based Quincy Institute, the Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi rebels may be close to striking a long-term compromise. “I believe the Saudis would be prudent to accept the Houthi’s offer,” she told Al Jazeera from Washington. “The Houthis stated that the three-day deal might be extended provided Saudi Arabia lifted its blockade of Yemen and ceased airstrikes.”

 

Additionally, she stated, “This would be fantastic Saudis who have stated for a long time that they want to end this war. This may be their final opportunity to cease pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into this war aimed at destroying Yemen.” Sheline noted that air raids by Houthi rebels garner significantly more attention than airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, which are a daily occurrence in Yemen.

 

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

The truce comes on the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention to defend Yemen’s government following the Houthi takeover of the capital Sanaa by Iran-backed Houthis in 2014. Tens of thousands of people, largely civilians, have been killed in the battle, and millions are facing starvation and disease. The coalition also issued the Houthis a three-hour ultimatum on Saturday to withdraw weaponry from Sanaa airport and two Red Sea ports, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV, without saying when the deadline would expire (Aljazeera, 2022).

 

The flare-up occurred as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) prepared to meet the warring parties for talks later this month. The Houthis have rejected Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and home to the GCC’s headquarters, as a venue for talks, stating that they would not undertake negotiations in “enemy countries.”

 

Bibliography

Aljazeera. (2022, March 26). Yemen’s Houthis announce three-day ceasefire after Saudi attacks . Retrieved from Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/26/yemens-houthis-announce-three-day-ceasefire-after-saudi-attacks

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