The Saudi Arabia-led coalition command announced on Wednesday the end of its military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen after receiving a message from President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, evoking welcome reactions from several countries.
The coalition stated that the airstrikes conducted as part of the “Operation Decisive Storm” military campaign managed “to successfully remove threats to Saudi Arabia’s security and that of neighbouring countries”, SPA reported citing a Saudi defence ministry official.
“The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen,” the official said.
Pakistan has welcomed the Saudi announcement and said it will pave the way for a political solution of the crisis in Yemen.
“This will pave the way for a political solution of the crisis in Yemen,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said in a statement, adding that the country shared Saudi Arabia’s desire for a “peaceful settlement of the crisis”.
The allied army also claimed that it had achieved its military goals in Yemen, and would now begin a new operation called “Restoring Hope”, with a focus shifted towards security, counter-terrorism, aid and a political solution in Yemen.
A new campaign, named “Operation Restoring Hope”, was also announced after the military campaign launched on March 26 fulfilled its objectives.
The new push would usher in diplomatic and political efforts along with the military operations, the coalition said, adding that the campaign ended following a request received by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, from the “legitimate” Yemeni government led by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
“Yemen’s history and the Arab nation will record with golden ink the firm historical stance which restored hope to the Yemeni people of their future whereas the Determination Storm has achieved its goals,” the request stated.
“We are confident that our joint endeavours with the coalition countries and the world community would pave the way in Yemen for a new phase, in which its people will fold the latest hurtful events that wreaked it.
“Finally, Yemen people’s free will, in drawing their future, away from any subjugation or coercion or imposition of a status quo by force by the Houthi militias and their supporters will prevail,” the request added.
“Operation Restoring Hope”, which would begin on Wednesday, aims to protect civilians and continue fighting terrorism in Yemen, according to the statement.
The coalition, however, did not signal a ceasefire, the official said.
Meanwhile, Iran which opposed the military operation from its start has also welcomed the Saudi’s halt to its aerial campaign against Yemen, and expressed hope that national dialog among Yemeni parties would resume.
“Undoubtedly a halt to the killing of innocent and defenceless people is a step forward,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said on Tuesday night.
“We had previously announced that the crisis in Yemen has no military solution,” she added.
The Saudi-led airstrikes and ground battles have killed about 700 people and wounded 3,000 over the course of nearly a month, according to the Yemeni health and interior ministries.