Saudi Arabia reportedly carried out fresh air strikes against Iranian backed Shiite Houthi militias in Yemen Wednesday, despite announcing an end to Operation Decisive Storm.
The action came as Saudi leaders announced Tuesday that they had ended the international coalition’s regiment of strikes to pursue Operation Renewal of Hope, a new initiative hailed by the UN seeking a diplomatic solution the the conflict in Yemen.
The latest air strikes targeted five Houthi positions in the southern city of Taiz, destroying a weapons depot used by the Houthis as other air strikes targeted their bases in Aden.
Two security officials reported that the explosions resulting from the destruction of the arms depot lasted for 40 minutes.
The Taiz military base had been captured by Houthi fighters just hours earlier.
An international coalition consisting of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait being led by Saudi Arabia began Operation Decisive Storm on March 25 in an attempt to prevent Houthi militias from capturing Aden from Yemeni government forces.
The Yemeni government has been operating out of Aden following the Houthis’ attempts to seize power and disband the parliament and presidency in January.
The strikes came just one day after the inauguration of Operation Restoring Hope, a UN backed initiative in which the Saudi-led coalition announced that it seeks a diplomatic solution to restore stability in Yemen.
The move was praised by both Iran and Oman.
Following the air strikes, Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel Jubair spoke on the procedure for seeking a diplomatic solution in Yemen.
"Iran will not be a part of the solution, because it is a part of the problem," he said. “Saudi Arabia will continue to monitor Yemen's air field and waters closely to prevent any Iranian assistant to Houthi rebels.”
"Renewal of Hope is primarily about helping the Yemeni people, but if Houthi rebels violated the conditions put forth by coalition, Saudi Arabia won’t hesitate in stopping them,” he continued.
"Houthi rebels should not rule out the possibility of renewed Saudi air strikes."