Sunday 25 September 2016

Houthis accept truce to allow humanitarian aid

Alan Martin

Published 11/05/2015 | 02:30

People flee as smoke billows after air strikes hit the house of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa
People flee as smoke billows after air strikes hit the house of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

Yemen's Shi'ite rebels and their allies have accepted a five-day humanitarian cease-fire to allow aid to reach civilians after more than a month of airstrikes by a Saudi-led military coalition.

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The cease-fire, scheduled to begin tomorrow, would help ease the suffering of civilians in the Arab world's poorest country who increasingly lack food, fuel and medicine since the bombing campaign began March 26.

However, all sides in the conflict have warned they will retaliate if the cease-fire is broken.

Meanwhile, Saudi-led strikes have continued, with a residence of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh targeted in the capital yesterday. Saleh appeared on television afterward standing in front of the ruins. He urged Yemenis to remain steadfast in the face of Saudi aggression and to beware of spies among them. He also urged a return to dialogue.

Saleh and his loyalists are allied with the Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, who are also backed by Iran.

The raging conflict in Yemen has killed more than 1,400 people - many of them civilians - since March 19, according to the United Nations.

The Houthis said in a statement that the coalition naval blockade prevented merchant ships carrying food from docking in the port of Hodeida.

Medical officials said some 70 wounded were evacuated from Aden onto a ship where they will be treated, with some severe cases being brought to Saudi Arabia.

Irish Independent

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