Saudi Arabia is moving to enact a partial cease-fire in Yemen, say people familiar with the plans, as Riyadh and the Houthi militants the kingdom is fighting try to end a four-year war that has become a front line in the regional clash with Iran.
Saudi Arabia’s decision follows the Houthis’ surprise declaration of a unilateral cease-fire in Yemen last week, just days after they claimed responsibility for the Sept. 14 drone and cruise-missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
If the mutual cease-fire in these areas takes hold, the Saudis would look to broaden the truce to other parts of Yemen, the people familiar with the plans said. Enforcing the cease-fire will require Saudi Arabia to reach out to its Yemeni allies on the ground to ensure that they adhere to Riyadh’s dictates.
The new cease-fire faces steep odds, as similar arrangements have crumbled before. But the Houthis’ unexpected unilateral move for a cease-fire last week raised hopes in Riyadh and Washington that the Yemeni fighters might be willing to distance themselves from Tehran.
After the Sept. 14 attack on the Saudi oil facilities, Houthi leaders initially said they were responsible. Saudi, U.S. and European officials dismissed the claims as an attempt to obscure Iran’s role in the strike. Yemeni fighters, these officials say, have neither the weapons nor the skills to carry out such a sophisticated strike.
Which is why the Saudis are folding lime overdone pasta to the Houthis, because they, “Have neither the weapons nor the skills to carry out such a sophisticated strike.”
Sounds convincing to me.