Officially, Saudi Arabia expressed surprise and a little caution over Friday’s offer by Yemen’s Houthi movement of a joint truce. The weekend, however, left little doubt as to the Saudi answer to this overture.
At least 27 Saudi airstrikes were reported against targets in northern Yemen in just the last 24 hours. The Houthis described the attacks as a “dangerous escalation,” and reiterated they’d meant to get everyone together for a peace process. Some on the ground were reporting far more strikes were taking place:
#Sanaa announced a truce 2all military operations against #Saudi
Coalition answer2this was66strikes n last24hours mainly on communication towers
strike on a car kild2civilian n #Amran #Yemen
truce offere on18Nov2018 b4 drones targetd #KSA oil pipe line
Lesson not learned! pic.twitter.com/zwxUbnOz6K
— Hussain Albukhaiti (@HussainBukhaiti) September 22, 2019
Yemeni media reports the airstrikes as chiefly hitting farms, as well as telecommunications sites in Yemen’s far north, damaging communications and further crippling the very limited agriculture industry of Yemen, a nation that imports almost all of its food.
The Houthi offer for a truce puts the Saudis in a difficult position, as recent Saudi actions are clearly informed by major Houthi drone attacks on Saudi oil sites, but the Saudis officially are blaming those attacks on Iran, meaning they’d just as soon not acknowledge that the Houthis, or the war, are a thing at all while trying to drum up support for moves against Iran.