Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The objectives of the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen are being “clearly achieved,” said Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, despite Houthi rebels successfully pushing into central Aden on Wednesday.
In his daily briefing on Thursday, Asiri stressed that coalition forces are currently focusing on the air operation, adding that Saudi and Egyptian warplanes had successfully targeted a number of Houthi sites in central and northern Yemen.
He said that Saudi-led air raids had cut vital Houthi communication lines after targeting a communication station in the capital Sana’a.
Asiri described the Houthi fighters in Aden as “isolated elements,” adding that their push into the city was born out of desperation in response to the air strikes of coalition forces elsewhere.
As for whether the Houthis are seeking to “drag” coalition forces into a battle on the ground, Asiri said that the Houthis have moved into urban centers in order to use Yemeni civilians as human shields.
“Moving into cities and taking refuge inside homes and using them as deterrent weapons is a basic tactic of militias anywhere to show the world that their enemies are targeting civilians and innocent people,” he said in comments carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Asiri’s comments came just one day before Pakistan’s parliament adopted a resolution on Yemen to stay neutral in the conflict. Riyadh has asked Pakistan, a staunch ally, to join the Saudi-led coalition, requesting warships, aircraft and troops.
“The parliament of Pakistan expresses serious concern on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Yemen and its implications for peace and stability of the region,” the resolution said.
“[It] desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis,” the statement added.