Saudi-led Forces Mass Near Yemen’s Hodeidah Despite Calls for Ceasefire

Yemeni military claims around 30,000 troops will be involved in offensive

On Tuesday, two major reporters on the Yemen War emerged. One was that Saudi-backed forces are planning a massive offensive against Hodeidah port, with tens of thousands of troops rallying in the area. The other is that the US officials demanded an immediate ceasefire and a halt to all airstrikes in populated areas.

That combination clearly doesn’t work, but while US officials continue to talk up the peace talks they envision happening next month in Sweden, the Saudi-backed forces continue to mass. Yemeni military officials are now claiming around 30,000 troops are south of Hodeidah for the planned push.

There has been no comment from the Saudis on the ceasefire front, and all indications on the ground are that it went in one ear, and out the other. The arrival of thousands of Sudanese troops in Yemen was intended to be a major turning point for the offensive against he Shi’ite north, and it seems that offensive is happening, come hell or high water.

Analysts are questioning that 30,000 fighters are really in the area, but if the Saudis believe the State Department intends to force peace talks within 30 days, it would be in keeping with past strategy to launch a big offensive first to try to make last minute gains before peace happens.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.