The leader of the Iranian-backed Houthi movement in Yemen said on Sunday that he is ready to institute a ceasefire, as long as the Saudi-backed government coalition is willing to do the same.
"We are willing to freeze and stop military operations on all fronts to reach a just and honorable peace if they really want peace for the Yemeni people," said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of Yemen's Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee. According to CNN, al-Houthi said that his forces would stop launching missiles and drone attacks on "US-Saudi aggression countries and their allies in Yemen."
The United States has backed the Saudi-led coalition in their efforts to eradicate Houthis from the Gulf country.
Extending an olive branch, al-Houthi called on Houthi forces to refrain from further attacks for the time being.
"We announce our initiative and call on the official Yemeni (Houthi) authorities to stop the firing of missiles and unmanned aircrafts on the US-Saudi aggression countries and their allies in Yemen to drop any justification for their continued aggression or siege," he said.
On October 30, Secretary of Defense James Mattis along with the US State Department called on all involved in the Yemen conflict to agree to a ceasefire "in the next 30 days."
"Thirty days from now we want to see everybody around a peace table based on a ceasefire, based on a pullback from the border and then based on ceasing dropping of bombs that will permit the (UN) special envoy, Martin Griffiths -- he's very good, he knows what he's doing -- to get them together in Sweden and end this war," said Mattis.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a similar statement, saying "The United States calls on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen," adding "Substantive consultations under the UN Special Envoy must commence this November in a third country."
David Miliband, the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, had called Pompeo's statement "the most significant breakthrough in the war in Yemen for four years."
"It is vital that this call for a ceasefire is followed through, and the call for support for the political process heeded," Miliband added. -CNN
Two days later, Saudi Arabia responded with a massive attack across the Sana'a Governorate, heavily bombarding the capital city and its surrounding sites which are allegedly home to a large Houthi presence - something the Washington Post of course blamed on Houthi unwillingness to come to the negotiating table (something the Saudi coalition has similarly refused to do over the past three years of war).
On November 9, the New York Times announced that the White House would halt the U.S. refueling of Saudi coalition jets engaged in operations over Yemen as a "limited punishment" over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That said, the United States was only providing refueling for around 20% of Saudi aircraft, so the punishment was more of a slap on the wrist.
The Trump administration is ending air refueling flights for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen and preparing sanctions against Saudis linked to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, current and former American officials said on Friday. The moves would impose a limited punishment on the kingdom. -NYT
Meanwhile, after killing a proposal by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to block $300 million in US arms sales to Yemen coalition member Bahrain, Senators propsed another bill that would suspend all US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Menendez (R-New Jersey) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018” — also with the sponsorship of three Democrats — to hold the Saudis accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.