Iran Welcomes End of Saudi Operation in Yemen

April 21, 2015  

Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday evening said it welcomed a halt to airstrikes in Yemen, Reuters reported.

The Iranian statement came after Saudi Arabia announced that the Arab coalition has ended its airstrike campaign against Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

“Before this, we said the crisis in Yemen had no military solution, and … a halt to killing innocent and defenseless people is absolutely a step forward,” ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

After saying the objectives of the operation, dubbed “Operation Decisive Storm,” were achieved, a Saudi defense ministry statement announced earlier on Tuesday the launching of “Operation Restoration of Hope” in Yemen.

“Operation Decisive Storm” was launched on March 26, and has included a total of 2,415 airstrikes.

According to a Saudi defense ministry statement the operation has “succeeded,” and has destroyed ballistic missiles belong to the Houthis and militias loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The airstrike campaign was launched after the Houthis toppled the government and seized control of the capital city of Sanaa in January, putting President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi under house arrest.

He later escaped to the strategic southern port city of Aden in February, but he fled the country in late March when the Houthis began marching on Aden, before capturing central parts of the city.

It is widely assessed that the Saudi-led strikes have largely failed in halting the Houthi advance to the south.

If they succeed in fully capturing Aden, the Iran-backed rebels will have control of access to the Red Sea, and ultimately to Israel’s southern port of Eilat.

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