Saudi Arabia has responded to the Trump administration’s call for the end of hostilities in Yemen by ratcheting up the war. The war between the Saudi-led coalition backing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Iranian-supported Zaydi Shiite Houthis is a catastrophe for Yemen, the region and the United States, but Riyadh’s leaders do not want to be losers.
Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for the Houthis to stop firing ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia and for the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi coalition to halt air attacks on populated Yemen territory in an effort to lead to UN-hosted negotiations. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said it is time to end the war. Talks about a political solution are supposed to begin in a month.