Saudi Arabia has called a halt to its military operation in Yemen known as ‘Decisive Storm,’ saying its military objectives had been achieved.
But less than 24 hours after the announcement, it resumed a near month-long bombing campaign against Houthi rebels.
The Gulf nation has been leading a coalition of Arab countries, aimed at destroying Houthi military targets.
Events in the war-torn country had escalated dramatically in August last year, when Houthi rebels advanced south from their northern stronghold, seeking a greater political voice and, ultimately, power.
The Saudi-led coalition sprung into action after elected president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was forced to flee from the capital, Sanaa.
Announcing the end of Decisive Storm on Tuesday, Saudi coalition spokesman Ahmed a-Assiri said: The Houthi forces have lost huge parts of their capabilities, and we can confirm that it will not be a threat anymore to the neighbouring countries, or against the Yemeni people, and that the Yemeni government will take all procedures to restore hope to Yemeni citizens through operation ‘Restoring Hope’.”
But can attacks give way to talks? And will Houthi rebels be part of any political deal?
Presenter: Jane Dutton
Adam Baron – Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations
Mamoun Abu Nowar – Military specialist, and retired general in Jordan’s air force
Lawrence Korb – Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former US assistant secretary of defence