UN envoy Hans Grundberg discussed with Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister ways to end the Yemen war, while US envoy Timothy Lenderking began a tour that includes the Gulf states and Britain to revive the political process.
The UN envoy said – in a tweet on Twitter – that the meeting discussed ways to end the war in Yemen and ensure stability in the Arabian Peninsula, expressing his aspiration to continue cooperation between the two sides.
The UN envoy is currently in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he held talks with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak and Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf on ways to solve the Yemen crisis.
On January 12, Grundberg warned, in a briefing before the Security Council, that Yemen was increasingly disintegrating politically, economically and militarily, stressing that the war in it was entering a new cycle of escalation.
UN envoy Grundberg met with @kbsalsaud today.
“I appreciate the opportunity to discuss ways to end the war in Yemen and ensure stability in the Arabian Peninsula with Prince Khalid bin Salman. We have agreed to work closely together and look forward to continuing cooperation.” pic.twitter.com/yNSjd6o8eX
– @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) January 20, 2022
At the same time, the US State Department announced that its envoy to Yemen began a tour that includes the Gulf states and Britain to revive the political process in Yemen.
The State Department said that Lenderking intends to pressure the parties concerned to stop the military escalation and participate in a comprehensive peace process.
And President Joe Biden said, yesterday, that ending the war in Yemen requires the participation of both sides of the conflict there, and that it will be very difficult.
Biden added, in a press conference marking the one-year anniversary of his assumption of office, that the UAE’s request to re-list the Ansar Allah group “Al-Houthi” in the list of terrorism is under study.
On the ground, the Saudi-Emirati coalition said that it is carrying out a large-scale military operation to paralyze the capabilities of the Houthis in a number of governorates of Yemen.
The coalition’s raids continued on several sites, in the capital, Sana’a, and the city of Hodeidah, in the west of the country, targeting different sites, according to local sources.
On the other hand, the Saudi Press Agency quoted the coalition as saying that it targeted weapons stored in the naval forces camp in Hodeidah, which were transported under commercial cover.
In a related development, Yemeni sources said that at least 5 civilians were killed and 4 wounded by Houthi shelling with two ballistic missiles on areas in the “Ain” district, west of Shabwa governorate, in the southeast of the country.
The sources added that a missile targeted the house of a citizen in the “Minawa” area, while the second missile targeted a fuel station in the “Ain” district and led to the burning of several cars.
Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree confirmed that the group’s forces launched two ballistic missile attacks on areas in Shabwa yesterday.
Progress in Shabwa
In a related context, Yemeni sources said that UAE-backed forces entered the “Murra” camp, west of Ataq, the administrative center of Shabwa governorate.
The sources added that the new governor of Shabwa, Awad Al-Awlaki, issued orders to the army forces stationed in the “Murra” camp to hand it over to the “Shabwa Defense Forces”, which is the new name for the forces that were called the Shabwa elite, which was formed and supported by the UAE.
The army forces had regained control of Camp Marra from the Shabwa Elite Forces in August 2019 while the UAE-backed forces were trying to take control of Shabwa governorate.
Yemen has been witnessing for nearly 7 years a continuous war between the pro-government forces backed by an Arab military alliance led by the neighboring Saudi Arabia, and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have controlled several governorates, including the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.