Recall Libya and Europe’s ejection of Muammar Gadhafi from power. Shortly into the air campaign supporting Libyan rebel efforts, that campaign nearly ground to a halt because the Europeans—really—ran out of ordnance to drop on Gadhafi and his loyalist forces. The Unites States had to step in and rearm the European forces in order for the campaign to continue.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia called a halt to its air campaign in support of the just-overthrown government and against Houthi terrorists in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia declared late Tuesday that strikes against the Houthis would transition to a mostly political phase, but left open the possibility of using military action to halt the spread of the militants.
This was followed the next day by the Houthis continuing their advance, including capture of the government forces’ brigade headquarters in Taiz, the country’s third largest city, and it had been immediately preceded by the terrorists’ capture of a major seaport, apparently in preparation for receiving Iranian seaborne arms shipments.
The US isn’t rearming/resupplying the Saudis as far as I can tell. This bodes ill for the Saudis and for Araby in general—and for Israel, on the back side of Araby from Iran—in the coming confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
I hope I’m being overly paranoid. The Saudis also released a statement:
…the new phase of operations “will support the Yemeni government on the ground as it works toward building a stable and secure Yemen[.]”
Update: It appears the Saudis, or at least their coalition, are resuming airstrikes against the Houthis. If true, this would be to the good.
An alternative reason for the ceasefire may be this:
The Obama administration told the Saudis the military campaign should be wrapped up quickly because it was no longer having the desired effect, senior US officials said. In the private messages, the administration said the campaign risked escalating into a broader conflict….
The “broader conflict” which President Barack Obama fears is one with Iran. Never mind that someone needs to stand up to the Iranians and halt their expansion and their hegemonic dreams, and the Obama administration hasn’t the heart for it. Never mind, too, that the Yemeni situation is only a small part of those dreams, and Iran is unlikely to force the question here. Yet.