News / Middle East

    Saudi Arabia to End 'Major Combat Operations' in Yemen

    FILE - Yemeni people inspect the damage after an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sana'a, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.
    FILE - Yemeni people inspect the damage after an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sana'a, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.
    VOA News

    Saudi Arabia says it is ending its "major combat operations" in Yemen, one year after launching Arab coalition airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

    A Saudi military spokesman, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri, told the Associated Press Thursday that the coalition will continue providing air support to Yemeni forces and help build an army.

    "The aim of the coalition is to create a strong cohesive government with a strong national army and security forces that can combat terrorism and impose law and order across the country," al-Asiri said.

    He said a small number of coalition troops will stay on the ground in Yemen to train Yemeni soldiers

    The White House said it welcomes the Saudi statement and added there is a dire need for a political solution in Yemen.

    Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital of Sana'a in 2014. They sent the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi fleeing to exile in Saudi Arabia before returning to the southern port city of Aden.

    FILE - A young boy who lost his leg in the Yemen war uses a prosthetic limb at a government-run rehabilitation center in Sana'a, Yemen, Saturday, March 5, 2016.
    FILE - A young boy who lost his leg in the Yemen war uses a prosthetic limb at a government-run rehabilitation center in Sana'a, Yemen, Saturday, March 5, 2016.

    The fighting in Yemen, along with the Saudi-led airstrikes, have obliterated entire neighborhoods and killed more than 6,000 people - mostly civilians. They include 119 killed by an aitrstike on a market northwest of Sana'a Tuesday.

    The U.N. says 80 percent of Yemeni civilians are in dire need of food and medical help.

    The Saudi-led coalition entered the fight last year. Some Mideast experts say the coalition action did nothing to help push all sides toward a peace settlement.

    The U.N and human rights groups accuse the coalition of deliberately firing at civilian targets - a charge the Saudis deny.

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    Comments
         
    by: Trek from: UK
    March 20, 2016 1:37 PM
    Enough pressure from world powers forces the Yemeni to sign one year ceasefire, arm embargo on Yemen and divide Yemen into three regions equal level of autonomy, the north for Shitte Houthi rebels, the middle for the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood group and the south for south Yemeni. The agreement renewed as required. Just one year of peace, paves the way to start relaxing peace talks, entirely rebuild Aden in modular construction techniques, secures its surrounding with US armed drones and bring plenty of Indian Christians as medical, education..etc contractors to mingle with the locals, building friendships and turn Aden to Bollywood hot city!

    by: jack
    March 18, 2016 12:17 AM
    Saudis are running out of money they have no choice but to stop war . I wish if they had used this billions of dollars for eradicating poverty in Yemen.

    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    March 17, 2016 10:19 PM
    I cannot understand who is USA & Saudi Arab to decide who will rule in Yemen,Syria,Iraq,Libya,Bahrain,Afghanistan & Pakistan.
    Both countries are Major Sponsors of Terrorism.Few examples are Daesh/IS/Nusrat front/Taliban/Booko Haram.
    Saudis are not happy with current system in SA.No girl can drive car/girl cannot visit grave yard for their father or mother, no freedom of church.
    I think SA Must satisfy their citizens first and then apply same OLD system in other countries.
    This is not Islam what they preach. Show me their lavish life as per Quran.

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