The Yemen War, which Saudi Arabia launched from Washington six years ago yesterday – with the support, armaments, and intelligence provided by the U.S. under both the Obama and Trump administrations – has recently escalated. 
The battles intensified last week as the Saudi’s and their allies tried to defend the pivotal city of Marib from attacks by Houthi troops, which have reportedly been emboldened by recent comments from President Biden about ending the U.S. involvement in the conflict.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the conflict has become a “political albatross” for both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and, as the United Nations has noted, Yemenis are suffering the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.
Prior to the move on Marib, the Houthis had taken control of most of the country, and they increased their launches of missiles and drones into Saudi Arabia. Just last week, they struck a major Aramco refinery in Riyadh.
Eighty percent of the country’s population of 28 million depends on international aid to survive. The Tasnim News Agency reported earlier this month that the war has destroyed about half of the country’s hospitals, which is all the more critical during the COVID outbreak.
The U.N. humanitarian agency warned on Sunday that 16 million Yemenis would go hungry this year, and the risk of large-scale famine “has never been more acute.”
The Start
Yemen’s civil war started in 2014, when the Houthis, who were ruling large sections of Yemen for over 1,000 years, overthrew the unelected president put in control by the Saudi’s, took control of Sana’a, and then seized the presidential palace. 
Biden, who was vice president under President Obama when the U.S. became involved in the conflict, has recently announced a hold on arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to the Journal. President Biden also announced he will reverse former President Trump’s plan to identify the Houthis as a terror organization.
The tension in the region has hit a fever pitch. Bloomberg reported Saturday that Saudi-led warplanes dropped bombs on rebel military bases in Yemen in response to a drone attack at a Saudi oil refinery in Riyadh last week.
Bloomberg reported that the Houthi attacks aimed at the Kingdom rarely “claim lives or cause extensive damage but their frequency has increased in recent months.”
Tim Lenderking, a special U.S. envoy, presented the Houthis with a proposal to stop the fighting in the country and said, “If we cannot make progress now, the country will spiral into greater conflict and instability.”
TRENDPOST: Yesterday, Saudi Arabia announced a cease-fire proposal that includes reopening of both the airport in the capital of Sana’a and the country’s largest port at Hodeidah, under supervision by the United Nations.
At a press conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said,
“We want the guns to fall completely silent. That is the initiative and that is the only thing that can really help us get to the next step. We hope that we can have a cease-fire immediately, but the onus is on the Houthis.”
In response to the Saudi initiative, Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdel Salam replied,
“Any positions or initiatives that don’t recognize that Yemen has been subjected to hostility and blockade for six years, and don’t separate the humanitarian aspect from any political or military bargain or lift the blockade are nothing new or serious.” 
As to what to expect, the Wall Street Journal quoted Peter Salisbury, a Yemen specialist with the International Crisis Group, who said, “The Saudi offer and the Houthi response more than anything show us that the gap between them hasn’t narrowed that much since last year, but that they are a little closer.”
With Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco announcing on Sunday that its profits were nearly halved in 2020 to $49 billion, the cost of their ongoing Yemen War, particularly as oil prices again decline, is also more than the Saudi’s can afford. 

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