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April 21, 2015

Saudi-led coalition ends bombing Yemen

(Medeshi)- The Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen for almost a month says its military operation 'Decisive Storm' will end at midnight and a new campaign aimed at preventing Houthi fighters from operating will begin.

Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Assiri, the Saudi-led coalition's spokesperson said on Tuesday that the coalition had achieved its military goals in Yemen and the new operation, called 'Restoration of Hope' would aim to protect civilians and combat "terrorism."
Assiri hailed 'Decisive Storm,' a military campaign launched by Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Sunni-ruled Gulf countries on March 26 a "success," before saying it would cease at midnight (21:00 GMT), paving the way for operation 'Restoration of Hope' a "combination of political, diplomatic and military action."
"The coalition has completed the 'Decisive Storm' campaign at the request of the Yemeni government and the President of Yemen. The primary goals of the campaign have been achieved and sovereignty has been protected," Asseri said.
"We are able to confirm that the Houthis are no longer a threat to Yemenis or neighbouring countries. The Yemeni government will now undertake all necessary actions to start rebuilding the country."
However, Assiri did not rule out future airstrikes against the Houthis and said the coalition would continue to impose a naval blockade on Yemen.
The kingdom's Ministry of Defence had earlier said that all heavy weapons and ballistic missiles belonging to the Houthis had been destroyed, that they had imposed restrictions over Yemen’s airspace, and that any possible threats on the kingdom and neighbouring countries had been removed.
Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Jizan on the Saudi-Yemen border, said their had been signs that a change in policy was on the horizon.
"Iranian officials were optimistic of a ceasefire earlier in the day with US naval ships arriving in the region and greater levels of contact between the US and the Saudi monarchy."
"Most likely Iran, Saudi Arabia and others have come to some kind of agreement on the conflict," our correspondent added.
- Al Jazeera