ASSESSMENTS

Five Years In, Saudi Arabia Is Signaling It Wants Out of Yemen

MIN READNov 24, 2020 | 22:35 GMT

Houthi-allied tribesmen ride trucks mounted with machine guns on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, on July 8, 2020.

(Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s window to exit the conflict in Yemen without jeopardizing all of its gains is quickly closing, as the United States transitions to a less Riyadh-friendly government, and as Houthi rebels seek deeper concessions on the ground. On Nov. 17, Saudi Arabia reportedly offered the Houthis a buffer zone along the Saudi-Yemeni border in exchange for drawing down its forces in the country. This move marks a significant downgrade to the original Saudi objectives in the country, as well as a tacit acknowledgment of the likely longevity of the Houthi political and military presence in Yemen. ...

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