Saudi Arabia has again launched airstrikes in southern Yemen today less than 24 hours after it announced its plans of a ceasefire of Operation Decisive Storm, following a campaign of fighting that has lasted over a month against Houthi positions.
The air strikes resumed when rebel forces attacked a Yemeni government military brigade, security sources in Taiz said. The brigade quickly fell to the rebels, after which Saudi planes targeted Houthi positions.
It is unclear if the recent fighting represents a continuation of the operation of attacks or a short-term return to air attacks.
When the Saudi-led coalition announced the end of the operation, it said a new initiative was underway. Operation Renewal of Hope will focus on the political process, it said.
The fighting has followed the recent release of the Yemeni Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, after a anonymous senior Saudi source confirmed the release of the Defence minister following his capture by Houthi rebels at an air base near Aden on March 26th shortly before the Saudis began an airstrike and following the UNs demand that he be released
Saudi Arabia had hoped to wipe out the Iranian-allied Houthi rebel group that overthrowed the government and seized power in Yemeni earlier this year, in an effort to restore the Yemeni government, who are a key U.S. ally in the fight against al Qaeda — which was kicked out of the capital by the rebels earlier this year.
The fighting resumed after the Houthi rebels captured a army brigade base loyal to the government in Yemans city of Taiz following fighting earlier. The brigade along with other army units declared it’s allegiance to Abd Rabbi Mansour Hadi. The Pro-Hadi military fought against the Houthi and their army allies who are loyal to ex-president Ali abdullah Saleh.
This month, Saudi officials said airstrikes have degraded Houthi-controlled military infrastructure, including key buildings in Sanaa. A Saudi official recently spoke of the Houthis agreeing to “nearly all demands” of the U.N. Security Council. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family will leave Yemen planning not to return to the troubled country.