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Tags: Yemen

Saudi Officials Announce Yemen Cease-fire amid Pandemic

Wednesday, 08 April 2020 04:37 PM EDT

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi Arabian officials say the coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen will begin a cease-fire starting Thursday.

The officials told journalists Wednesday night that the decision was in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They said the cease-fire will be for two weeks, during which the coalition will support U.N. efforts to bring the rival parties to the table for peace talks.

“THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The AP's previous story follows.

Heavy fighting in Yemen between pro-government forces and Shiite rebels killed more than 270 people in the past 10 days, government officials and tribal leaders said Wednesday.

The officials said forces of the internationally recognized government dealt a heavy blow to the rebels, known as Houthis, in the provinces of Marib, Jawf and Bayda.

The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition backing the government of President Abed Rabou Mansour Hadi carried out more than 370 airstrikes against the Houthis in less than two weeks, the officials said.

They said the clashes have left more than 270 dead and at least 300 wounded from both sides, with the Houthis suffering heavy losses.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, while the tribal leaders did so for fear of reprisals.

Abdu Abdullah Magli, spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, said they wrested control of the strategic Hilan mountains, west of the oil-rich province of Marib about 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa.

He said the government forces reclaimed the Labnat military camp in Jawf province and were progressing toward the strategic northern city of Hazm, the provincial capital of Jawf.

The Houthis, who took Hazm last month, dismissed the government claims, saying they still control the camp.

Yahia Sarea, a spokesman for the Houthi forces, said they fired a ballistic missile targeting government forces in southern Abyan province. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The violence flared up late last month after a foiled rebel drone and missile attack targeting the Saudi capital. Saudi Arabia’s Air Defense Forces said they intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile over Riyadh. Another missile was also intercepted and destroyed over the southern Saudi city of Jizan, which borders Yemen, they said.

The missile attack prompted the coalition to launch an intensive air campaign on rebel-held Sanaa and other areas, in what they say was aimed at “destroying legitimate military targets” held by the Houthis.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has been convulsed by civil war since 2014. That’s when the Iran-backed Houthis took control of the country’s north, including the capital Sanaa. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened against the Houthis the following year. Despite relentless Saudi airstrikes and a blockade of Yemen, the war has stalemated.

The conflict has killed over 10,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and pushing the country to the brink of famine.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Saudi Arabian officials say the coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen will begin a cease-fire starting Thursday. The officials told journalists Wednesday night that the decision was in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.They said...
Yemen
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2020-37-08
Wednesday, 08 April 2020 04:37 PM
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