Yemen cease-fire expires after hundreds of violations by Houthis

A pro-government fighter walks at the site of recent battles against Houthi fighters in Taiz, Yemen. (Reuters/Anees Mahyoub)
Updated 21 November 2016
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Yemen cease-fire expires after hundreds of violations by Houthis

JEDDAH: A US-brokered cease-fire in Yemen ended on Monday after repeated violations by Iran-backed Houthis, announced the Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government.
 
The coalition’s spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri said: “There is no respect (for the truce), only violations,” Al Arabiya news channel reported, adding there had not been any orders to “extend the cease-fire.”
 
The 48-hour cease-fire, which began on Saturday and ended at noon (AST) Monday , had come at President Hadi’s request.
 
An AFP correspondent in Sanaa said there had been no coalition airstrikes in the Houthi-occupied capital since the truce took effect.
 
Coalition spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmad Al-Asiri accused the Houthis of 180 violations in the first 10 hours of the cease-fire.
 
The media center of the Yemeni National Army has reported hundreds of violations of the truce by the Houthis. 
 
The center noted that violations had occurred in the provinces of Marib, Al-Baida’a and Taiz.
A Yemeni military source indicated that air defense forces of the Arab Coalition Forces intercepted three ballistic missiles at dawn on Sunday. 
 
The missiles were launched by the Houthis at Marib and were destroyed in the province’s airspace.


Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

Updated 41 min 32 sec ago
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Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

  • The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen
  • UAE minister Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a confidence-building measure

The United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led military coalition, is not leaving war-torn Yemen despite an ongoing drawdown and redeployment of Emirati forces, a UAE minister has said.

“Just to be clear, the UAE and the rest of the coalition are not leaving Yemen,” minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in an opinion piece published Monday in The Washington Post.

“While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain. In accordance with international law, we will continue to advise and assist local Yemen forces.”

The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen, where a years-long conflict between government forces - backed by the Saudi-led coalition - and Iran-backed Houthi militia has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The UAE is a key partner in the military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against the Houthi.

Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a “confidence-building measure to create new momentum to end the conflict”.

“As the United Arab Emirates draws down and redeploys its forces in Yemen, we do so in the same way we began - with eyes wide open,” he said.

“There was no easy victory and there will be no easy peace.

“But now is the time to double down on the political process.”

The warring sides have fought to a stalemate, and several rounds of UN-sponsored talks, the last held in Sweden in December, have failed to implement any deal to end the war.

Since 2015, tens of thousands of people - mostly civilians - have been killed in the conflict described by the United Nations as the world’s worst manmade humanitarian crisis.