A Saudi soldier fires a mortar towards Houthi movement position, at the Saudi border with Yemen April 21, 2015
The Saudi Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday the end of Operation Decisive Storm, a military campaign led by the kingdom in Yemen to combat the Houthi advance in the embattled country, Al Arabiya reported.
The operation will continue to target Houthi militias as it enters a political phase, Saudi state television reported.
“The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen,” Gen. Ahmed Asiri told reporters in Riyadh.
The Riyadh-based central command also announced the beginning of a new campaign, named “Operation Restoring Hope,” after the earlier campaign launched on March 26 fulfilled its objectives, a statement said.
The Saudi defense ministry said in a statement that the air strikes had managed “to successfully remove threats to Saudi Arabia’s security and that of neighboring countries.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the announcement, reported Reuters citing an Iranian news agency.
“Before this, we said the crisis in Yemen had no military solution, and … a halt to killing innocent and defenseless people is absolutely a step forward,” ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
The new push will usher in diplomatic and political efforts along with military operations, Asiri said.
The campaign ended following a request from the ‘legitimate’ Yemeni government led by President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, Asiri explained.
Operation Restoring Hope, which starts on Wednesday, aims to protect civilians and to continue to fight terrorism in Yemen, a statement from the Ministry of Defense said with Asiri adding that it does not signal a ceasefire.
Speaking to Al Arabiya News Channel, Asiri said that “Operation Decisive Storm” destroyed the militia’s ability to use ballistic missiles.
“We are not talking about a ceasefire. Operation Restoring Hope has a military component,” said Asiri, emphasizing that evacuation and humanitarian relief missions are ongoing.
“Operation Restoring Hope” will include aerial and naval supervision, explained Asiri, adding that Houthi militia will be targeted if they tried to harm civilians.
“This is a military component; in addition to the political component.”
Earlier on Tuesday Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz ordered the kingdom’s National Guard take part in the military campaign in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
(Source / 21.04.2015)