Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi fighters have upped the ante in the country’s long running civil war, mounting a major campaign to seize the key oil-producing Marib province. If successful, the group’s position will be greatly strengthened.

In this light it is difficult to see Saudi Arabia’s recent offer of a nationwide ceasefire as anything other than a tacit acknowledgement that the Houthis are gaining the upper hand. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan publicly offered the counrywide truce on 22 March, saying that the kingdom wants “the guns to fall totally silent.” (CONTINUED - 857 WORDS)