RIYADH – The Saudi coalition announces the cessation of military operations in Yemen, starting 6:00 am on Wednesday, with peace talks due to start during the month of Ramadan starting next month.
The brutal war between Yemen and a Saudi-led coalition including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), US, Britain and other partnering countries, has been raging for 7 years, leading to widespread damage across the country, and hundreds of thousands of casualties, disease and famine.
The news was announced late this evening on the Kingdom’s official channel, Saudi News 50.
The Saudi news released added that the announcement “coincides with the launch of Saudi-Yemeni consultations with the aim of creating the appropriate conditions for their success and creating a positive environment during the holy month of Ramadan for peace making in Yemen.”
This latest development comes in the wake of a devastating missile and drone attack by Ansarullah (Houthis) over the weekend which struck a major Saudi Aramco oil reserve facility, threatening the stability of the Kingdom’s domestic fuel supply. The attack saw rockets and drone strikes hitting an large oil depot in Jeddah, as well as other facilities in the capital city of Riyadh.
The UAE has also received missile and drone strikes by Yemen in recent months, further destabilising an already shaky Saudi coalition.
Following the Yemeni attack on the Saudi oil facilities, Ansarullah announced a three-day truce, and offered to honor a “permanent” ceasefire if the Saudi-led coalition agreed to end its operations against the impoverished country. The Yemeni strategy appears to have been a successful one.
In addition to the ceasefire, Ansarullah also announced a prisoner exchange deal with Saudi Arabia, where 1,400 Yemenis will be exchanged for 823 Saudi-led troops, including a number of high-ranking Saudi officers, as well as Nasser Mansoor Hadi the brother of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the self-proclaimed president-in-exile of Yemen currently residing in Riyadh.
The controversial war was conceived and supported by the Obama administration from March 2015, with the United States and Britain providing the initial military backbone for Saudi’s undeclared war of aggression against Yemen.