Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun

Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun
Updated 16 December 2015

Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun

Coalition says Yemen cease-fire has begun

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said Tuesday that a cease-fire had begun at noon (0900 GMT) as scheduled.
Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri confirmed that the truce had taken effect. The rebel forces have yet to say if they will abide by the cease-fire.
The coalition has said that the cease-fire was requested by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to facilitate the planned peace talks in Switzerland.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the coalition said Arab forces retained the right to respond to any breach of the cease-fire.
The coalition has been waging mainly air strikes on the Houthis since March, after the Houthis seized control of much of the country in a series of moves that started in September 2014.
The Houthis say their actions are aimed at state corruption and against the militant Islamist Al-Qaeda, while the Saudi-led coalition sees the Houthis as furthering rival Iran’s efforts to expand its influence into the Arabian Peninsula.
Two senior commanders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among dozens of fighters killed in a rocket strike in south-western Yemen, according to local media and Yemeni sources on Monday.
A previous round of peace talks in Geneva in June failed to produce a breakthrough, with each side blaming the other for the failure of the talks.