On Tuesday afternoon, facing growing criticism for massive civilian death tolls, Saudi Arabia announced the end to its airstrikes against Yemen, claiming they had accomplished their military objectives.
Just hours later, Saudi warplanes were once again pounding targets at several sites in Yemen, leaving many to wonder what the point was of yesterday’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment.
The Saudis seemed keen to rebrand “Operation Decisive Storm” amid the growing death toll, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else will see the “new” operation as anything but the old operation under a different name.
Yemen’s Houthis, the primary targets of Saudi strikes, continue to urge a cessation of hostilities and negotiations under UN auspices. The Saudis have publicly insisted that the only end they’ll except to the war is the reinstallation of former President Hadi, who resigned in January and is now living in exile in Riyadh, awaiting a second shot at being a ruler with no real electoral mandate, but with substantial international military backing.