Houthi forces patrol the streets of Sanaa, Yemen, ahead of the arrival of U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths at the city's airport on Jan. 31, 2019.
(MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced that a two-week cease-fire in the anti-Houthi Yemen conflict would begin on April 9. The worsening COVID-19 pandemic in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen is driving both countries to want to preserve their military resources. For Saudi Arabia, de-escalating operations in the war-torn country would also allow it to focus on other burning fires at home, including its shaky Vision 2030 economic trajectory and the recent breakdown of OPEC+ cooperation.
A sustained cease-fire, however, will ultimately rely on the buy-in of Houthi rebels, who have continued to display their military might in the face of a gradually reduced coalition effort in Yemen. Indeed, Houthis launched ballistic missiles at residential neighborhoods in the coalition-held city of Marib mere hours before Saudi Arabia announced the agreement. ...