The Saudi-led coalition is “now looking for a political solution rather than a military operation to take Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah,” former US officials who work on Yemen told Al Monitor‘s Laura Rozen.
The possible breakthrough could avoid a military escalation to take the Houthi-held strategic port, which would make the catastrophic food shortage in the war-torn country even worse. It would also add political strain to Western support of the Saudi-led coalition’s overall mission, now entering its third year.
“It seems people are backing away from the idea of a military operation,” former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein told Al-Monitor April 27, referring to the Saudis. “And [they] are thinking more creatively about how do we achieve this objective without having to resort to military [solutions] and breaking a lot of crockery,” Al Monitor reports.
Last month, speaking to reporters while on route to Riyadh, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called for the crisis in Yemen to go before a United Nations-brokered negotiating team in order to “politically” resolve the country’s raging civil war, according to the Voice of America.