Even as Saudi Arabia is mulling over taking a brief five-day break from Yemen bombing, its forces seem to prepare for a major offensive in Houthi-stronghold Saada, where on Friday its airforce dropped leaflets asking the local residents to flee.
Saudi TV channel Al Ekhbariya announced that the residents of the Old Saada district in Saada have been alerted. Spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Reuters that the Yemenis have been asked to stay away from areas where Houthi rebels are concentrated.
Asseri also said that the Saudi-led coalition attack in Saada will target only those who had planned operations against Saudi Arabia.
Early on Thursday reports had emerged that Saudi Arabia is considering to halt its Yemen bombing campaign for five days. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a news conference along with the visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry had stated that the success of the plan depended on the Houthi rebels.
"The actual date will be announced shortly, God willing," Al-Jubeir said. "This is all based on the Houthis complying. There will be a cease-fire everywhere or there will be a cease-fire nowhere."
In the last month since Saudi Arabia launched a massive air campaign against Houthis, 650 civilians have been killed, according to the United Nations.