Arab Coalition Command in Yemen Announces Suspension of Military Operations - State Media
20:54 GMT 29.03.2022 (Updated: 23:06 GMT 29.03.2022)
The Yemeni armed opposition movement Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, announced on Sunday a three-day cessation of hostilities against Saudi Arabia and its coalition. The news comes as this month marks the seventh anniversary of the war, which has caused one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
The Saudi Arabian-led coalition said on Tuesday it would cease hostilities in Yemen during inter-Yemeni talks in Riyadh, that will be held on Wednesday, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.
The alliance said that suspending military operations is aimed at creating “appropriate conditions” for peace talks to succeed.
“We announce the cessation of military operations inside Yemen to make the consultations successful and create a positive environment for peacemaking during the month of Ramadan, at the invitation of His Excellency the Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf,” the statement says.
Earlier in the month, the warring sides made efforts to initiate peace talks amid continuing hostilities. Saudi Arabia has offered to hold the meeting in Riyadh, ready to guarantee the inviolability of the Houthi delegation. Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi has also agreed to take part in the talks, which would be the first attempt to arrange a direct meeting between the leaders of both sides of the Yemeni civil war.
The Houthi representatives, so far, have not officially confirmed their participation in the talks, and have increased their shelling of Saudi territories.
They have claimed that Saudi Arabia is a party to the conflict, suggesting peace talks should be held in a neutral country. The militants have also warned that they would seek an end to the war and the blockade imposed on Yemen by force.
On March 25, the Houthis launched
dozens of strikes throughout Saudi territory. The main target of the attack was a fuel depot intended for export in the port city of Jeddah. Missiles and drones hit dozens of other minor targets in Saudi Arabia, including two oil refineries, as well as pipelines and other objects of the country's oil infrastructure.
The negotiations are expected to be held between March 29 and April 7 and resemble a conference. The parties plan to discuss a number of issues to tackle the political crisis, including the formation of a new Yemeni government and the reconstruction of war-affected areas. In addition, participants will discuss the opening of humanitarian corridors from northern Yemen, which has been in a transport blockade for more than seven years.
A number of Arabic media outlets have suggested that the negotiations may be the first step towards ending the war.
In 2014, the Shiite Houthi movement rebelled in Yemen’s northern provinces, including the capital Sana’a. After the Houthi takeover of the capital, the official government led by President Hadi fled to the city of Aden, located on the southern coast of Yemen.
Further military successes of the Houthis prompted a number of Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, to form a coalition and launch a full-scale military operation in Yemen at the request of President Hadi.
However, the coalition forces, despite the total superiority in weapons and manpower
, could not inflict a decisive defeat on the Houthis over the years of brutal hostilities. On the 7th anniversary of the war, the rebel command reported that 10,759 soldiers of the Saudi Arabian army, 9,440 soldiers from Sudan and 1,251 soldiers of the UAE armed forces were killed in Yemen.
The current Yemeni civil war, according to UNICEF, “remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with around 23.7 million people in need of assistance.” According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict has killed nearly a quarter million people, including more than 10,000 children. Over 50 percent of the Yemeni population faces food insecurities.