(Photo credit: SPA)
Between 29 March and 7 April, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plans to hold a series of talks with the aim of establishing a ceasefire in Yemen in the wake of retaliatory airstrikes against the Saudi-led coalition by Ansarallah forces.
The negotiations are aimed at establishing humanitarian corridors for Yemen, among other issues, according to a report from the New Khalij.
These negotiations are reportedly a means for Saudi Arabia to exit Yemen while saving face after seven years of an unsuccessful war.
Despite the coalition spending $175 million a month on air raids alone, the Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have managed to hold back the NATO-backed forces, despite widespread famine caused by the coalition’s air and naval blockade.
The Yemeni army has also been able to launch several successful attacks deep into Saudi and Emirati territory with ballistic missiles and drones. On 20 March, Operation Breaking the Siege hit economic and infrastructure targets inside the kingdom multiple times within one day.
Yemen has vowed to continue these retaliatory strikes for as long as the Saudi coalition continues to bomb and besiege its people.
In the face of Yemeni retaliation, the Saudi coalition is potentially seeking a way out of this war to protect their economic and industrial assets from being destroyed after the continued failure of their missile defense systems to intercept Yemeni missiles and drones.
Additional pressures on Saudi Arabia include its economic decline as a result of coronavirus restrictions, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and souring relations between Riyadh and Washington.
However, these negotiations will likely fall apart if Ansarallah is not present.
Ansarallah has so far rejected taking part in these talks, stating they will not participate if talks are held inside the same country that instigated the war, bloodshed, and starvation of the Yemeni people, or in the city where the GCC headquarters are located, Riyadh.
Ansarallah officials have said they will consider participating only if the talks are held in a neutral country with a trustworthy and impartial mediator.
“How stupid do they think the Yemeni people are? They are inviting them to peace amid a siege,” said Mahdi al-Mashat, the President of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council.
Yemen has been engulfed in brutal war since 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, with the support of the US, invaded the country with the aim of dislodging the Ansarallah resistance movement from power and restoring the government of ousted Saudi-backed president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
According to the UN, the conflict has killed about 377,000 people and left nearly half of the country’s population on the verge of famine.