Arab coalition to revive Yemen operations

Operation Restoring Hope was launched to bolster political and peace efforts but without ruling out the use of force

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A spokesman said on Saturday that the Saudi-led Arab Coalition will revive its Operation Restoring Hope after Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait ended in the same day without any real results.

While the operation began on April 21, 2015 and it is still active, “Operation Restoring Hope will be revived again,” Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Asiri, spokesman of the Arab Coalition, told Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al Hadath.

The operation was launched to bolster political and peace efforts but without ruling out the use of force. The operation followed the military Operation Decisive Storm.

Asiri, who is also an advisor to the Saudi defense minister, said Iran-backed Houthi militias considered the ending of Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait as an “opportunity” to expand their operations.

He said after suspending the talks between the two warring Yemeni sides, the Houthis started launching operations on the Saudi borders.

The brigadier general said a fire exchange following an aggression by the Houthis led to the killing of a Saudi soldier on the border, reiterating that the kingdom won’t tolerate such violations.

He added "We have already emphasized that Operation Restore Hope has three fundamental dimensions: military and political, as well as relief and humanitarian. The operation has been suspended to give a chance to the momentum of the talks… and to show full support to the United Nations and its envoy through the truce that has been requested from time to time. This was respected by the coalition and the Yemeni government in the hope of the success of the negotiations"

Asiri said "The point that should be clear to the audience is that the Houthi militias failed in dealing positively with all opportunities that were presented to them by the legitimate government via the UN Envoy. And the militia is now trying to achieve some military gains on the ground. They found themselves in an impasse. the impasse of not achieving any political success or military ones. Therefore the coalition is committed to the support of the legitimate government and its national army in its efforts to restore its control over the majority of regions currently held by the Houthi militias."

He added "At the same time our armed forces and national guards continue their duties in protecting the border of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.This is the future that we are working on. The operations of Restoring Hope will be active again."

On Saturday, UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced the end of Yemen peace talks in Kuwait, but said negotiation between the two Yemeni warring sides will resume in a month.

The envoy rejected that the talks in Kuwait have failed, and criticized any “unilateral” steps taken by any of the two sides.

But he did not make any further mention of how the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh on Saturday appointed a council set up to govern Yemen, in a new blow to the UN-mediated peace talks.

The militia alliance announced the creation of the council on July 28, a move denounced by Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed said previously it would damage the talks and represented a “grave breach” of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

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