Yemeni Deputy Information Minister Fahmi al-Yousefi says Saudi Arabia and its allies, which are involved in a devastating military campaign and brutal all-out siege against the impoverished country, cannot decide to end the ongoing Yemen crisis as the United States and Britain have the final say.
Yousefi made the remarks in an interview with the IRIB news agency on Tuesday, following the announcement of a three-day truce by Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement with the Saudi-led coalition.
“Once we receive a response, we would seriously study it. But it seems as if the Saudi regime and other members of the coalition of aggression cannot take such decisions, because the decision for the Yemen war was made in Washington and London,” he said.
The Yemeni deputy information minister further said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must obtain the White House’s approval for such decisions and that they cannot even decide on prisoner exchanges or humanitarian issues.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies, chief among them the UAE, and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.
The objective was to bring back to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Officials with the Ansarullah movement frequently refer to the war as the “US-Saudi aggression” to highlight Washington’s leading role in the bloody military campaign.
Yousefi also said that Yemeni armed forces will continue their retaliatory operations by all available means in order to break the cruel siege, stop the war, and start peace negotiations between the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government and the Saudi-led military coalition in case Riyadh and its allies miss the three-day truce opportunity.
“We will never back down from the initiative. We consider it a real and practical mechanism to stop the aggression and start serious negotiations. Any negotiations or dialog must guarantee cessation of hostilities and the lifting of the siege and must put forward solutions to humanitarian issues,” he stated.
Chairman of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council Mahdi al-Mashat on Saturday evening announced the suspension of retaliatory missile and drone attacks and all military actions against Saudi Arabia for a period of three days.
“This is a sincere invitation and practical step to rebuild trust and take all the sides from the arena of talks to the arena of acts,” Mashat said.
The truce came a day after a wave of drone and missile attacks hit targets across Saudi Arabia.