Will The US Succeed in Starting Direct Talks With The Yemeni Houthis?

Published August 28th, 2019 - 08:50 GMT
A soldier fighting in the ranks of the legitimacy against the Houthis. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
A soldier fighting in the ranks of the legitimacy against the Houthis. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)

The United States is reportedly planning to initiate direct talks with Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement in a declared bid to end the protracted war in the impoverished country.

The Wall Street Journal cited American officials familiar with the plans as saying in a report on Tuesday that the administration of US President Donald Trump was also looking to prompt Saudi Arabia into taking part in the talks with Houthi leaders in Oman to broker a ceasefire in Yemen.

Enjoying the support of the US and UK, Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015.

The US plan to open direct negotiations with the Houthis comes at a time when fears of broader regional war are growing, according to the journal.

Yemen's resistance, however, has pushed the Saudi war to a stalemate, with Yemeni forces increasingly using sophisticated weaponry in retaliatory attacks against the Saudi-led coalition.

Over the past months, the Yemeni army has managed to conduct several missile and drone attacks on Saudi airports and oil facilities.

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Trump has strongly defended arm sales to Riyadh up to this point and has vowed to veto any resolution in Congress banning the sales.

The UK has licensed over £4.7 billion worth of arms exports, including missiles and fighter jets, to Riyadh since the beginning of the deadly conflict. Britain has also been providing combat intelligence and target data to Saudi Arabia over the course of the war, which has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and put millions more on the verge of famine.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 91,000 Yemenis over the past four and a half years.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.

The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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