It’s now been a few days since US cruise missiles destroyed three Yemeni radar installations controlled by the Houthis and their pro-Saleh allies in retaliation for two attempted missile strikes against a US destroyer in the Red Sea. Well, yesterday the other shoe dropped:
The UN special envoy for Yemen has announced the plan for a ceasefire starting on Wednesday night.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has received assurances from all Yemeni parties for a ceasefire to begin at 23:59 Yemen time on Wednesday, for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal, a statement released on Monday said.
The country’s foreign minister has said in an official tweet that the president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has agreed to the 72-hour ceasefire. “The president agreed to a 72 hrs ceasefire to be extended if the other party adheres to it, activates the DCC and lifts the siege of Taiz,” Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said. The DCC is the military commission responsible for overseeing ceasefires.
See, this is just the kind of unrestrained military aggression that the United States…wait, what? A ceasefire? That the actual fighting parties are going to obey, at least in theory? That’s wild, man. Damn.
Seriously though, this is what should have happened after the Saudis launched their inexplicable War on Funerals 10 days ago. In the aftermath of a strike so far beyond the pale that even Riyadh paid lip service to the idea of investigating what went wrong, it was time to leverage Hadi and the Saudi-led coalition
to which he answers supporting him into a ceasefire and a resumption of talks. And, in fact, there were signs that the US was doing precisely that. Then somebody fired missiles at the USS Mason and it looked like all bets might be off. But, somewhat surprisingly, they apparently weren’t.
After the Mason was fired upon the usual suspects moved very quickly, as Yemen expert James Spencer writes, to try to pin the incident on Iran. There is, as you might suspect, not much reason to believe them: Continue reading