The Saudi king’s royal decree, altering the line of succession and reshuffling the cabinet, has changed the Kingdom’s foreign policy, not just its internal politics. The king named his nephew, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince – who retains his position as a powerful interior minister and continues to head of the Political and Security Council, a coordinating body. The king also made his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who is the defence minister and oversaw the bombing campaign in Yemen – deputy crown prince, making him second in line to the throne. The state oil company, Armaco’s Chief Executive and Foreign Minister are also part of the shake-up, which sees a younger, pro-active generation take pole position. Ominously for Yemen, power now resides with strongmen; veteran’s of military and security profiles, keen to break away from yesterday’s policies and forge a stronger, more aggressive Saudi Arabian presence in the region.

The collateral victims of that effort will be the Yemeni civilians. The month long bombing campaign has failed to dislodge the Houthis from the frontlines, and they continue to advance on Aden. Meanwhile, the coalition forces are getting increasingly desperate; on Tuesday it bombed – under the command of the newly appointed deputy crown prince – the last useable airport in Yemen in a bid to foil an Iranian aircraft from landing there. The bombing has disrupted a major transit point for humanitarian aid, which, considering the coalition imposed naval blockade, cuts of Yemen from aid and food imports. With the fighting continuing at the same pace, appointment of Khalid Bahah – popular figure among the feuding parties – as vice-president, and the change in the Saudi power structure, the nascent hopes of a negotiated peace, which took shape after the bombings were declared over, seem dashed against the ground.