The Saudi-led coalition announced on Tuesday the end of its military operation against Yemen’s Shiite Houthi militant group, saying operation objectives have been achieved.
“Today, we ended Operation Decisive Storm at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his legitimate government,” coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri told a press conference in Saudi capital Riyadh.
He said the main goals of the offensive have been achieved.
“Legitimacy has been defended and Yemenis are no longer at risk after Houthi militiamen have lost most of their capabilities,” added al-Asiri.
He asserted that the Shiite militants no longer pose a threat to Yemen’s neighbors.
Asiri said coalition warships will continue to monitor Yemen’s seaports to prevent the smuggling of weapons to Houthis.
He added that the coalition reserves the right to resume its attacks should the need arises.
On March 25, Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a military offensive against the positions of Houthi militants across Yemen.
Riyadh said the campaign came in response to Hadi’s appeals to “save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias.”
The Houthis, for their part, have decried the offensive as unwarranted “Saudi-American aggression.”
Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when Houthi militants overran capital Sanaa, from which they sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
The coalition spokesman, meanwhile, announced the start of what he called Operation Restoring Hope as of Wednesday.
“The operation aims to restore hope to the Yemeni people,” Asiri said.
The spokesman said the new operation would be a mixture of political, diplomatic and military efforts.
He added that the new operation focuses on resuming Yemen’s political process.
According to Asiri, the objectives of the new operation will also be to prevent Houthis from conducting operations inside Yemen, protect civilians and support and facilitate evacuation and relief operations.
He said that the Yemeni government will work to consolidate its presence on the ground in the coming period.