Omani delegation in Yemen for talks as threat of military escalation looms
Yemeni officials on Wednesday warned that the recent lull in fighting against Saudi troops and mercenaries will 'not last for long'
By News Desk - December 21 2022

Yemeni people inspect the collapse of a UNESCO-listed building in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, on 10 August, 2022. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

An official delegation from the Sultanate of Oman landed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on 21 December as part of Muscat’s mediation efforts to reach a political solution to the Saudi-led war that has been raging for nearly eight years.

The Ansarallah resistance group announced the arrival of the Omani delegation on Wednesday. They were accompanied by the head of Sanaa’s negotiating team, Mohammed Abdul Salam.

No further details were provided about the meeting, which comes nearly three months after a UN-brokered ceasefire between Sanaa and Riyadh ended.

Since then, Oman has been mediating talks between Saudi and Yemeni officials that seek to end a war that has killed nearly 400,000 Yemenis and pushed the rest of the population to the brink of famine.

Nonetheless, on Wednesday, Al Akhbar cited Ansarallah officials as saying that Yemen is headed towards a new military escalation.

“The understandings between Sanaa and the countries of aggression, through regional and international mediations, have reached a dead end,” Ansarallah official Muhammad Taher Anam told the Lebanese outlet, before adding that “the leadership in Sanaa has become convinced that there are no real intentions to stop the aggression and lift the siege.”

Over recent days, ceasefire violations by the Saudi-led coalition have escalated in areas controlled by Ansarallah and the Yemeni Armed Forces, particularly near the Port of Hodeidah.

Moreover, spying and attack drones have increased patrols, while at least five UN-approved fuel shipments headed for Hodeidah have been detained by coalition forces.

Intelligence sources revealed to Al Akhbar that the coalition is considering a plan to provide the Saudi-appointed government in the south with drones and combat aircraft operated from Yemeni airports outside Sanaa’s control, hoping to avoid retaliation on their own soil.

However, Ansarallah officials have made it clear that “any potential land or sea escalation will be met with a violent response [targeting] the vital interests of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Since 2015, Yemen has been the target of a brutal war launched by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies with the support of the US and NATO.

Earlier this month, Ansarallah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi accused the US of obstructing the path for a comprehensive peace process in Yemen, calling the western nation “the root of the problem.”

“[Ceasefire talks] are stalled because of the US, who are the root of the problem, as it benefits from the war and only wants a peace deal that benefits their interests. This type of peace means surrender to us,” Al-Houthi said during a televised speech on 7 December.

Last week, the White House successfully stopped proposed legislation that would have restricted US military involvement in Yemen.

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