Saudi-led coalition unilaterally begins Yemen war ceasefire
Yemen–Despite rejection of ceasefire proposal by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia led coalition that holds control of Yemeni capital Sanaa began ceasefire unilaterally on Wednesday. The pause in fighting in years long war in Yemen, proposed by Saudi led coalition, began at 6 am ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Citing multiple similar previous attempts of ceasefire, it is not confirmed whether hostilities were paused between Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition forces.
The announcement of ceasefire was made late Tuesday nights. Doubts surfaced instantly as the Iran-backed Houthi group is skipping ongoing summit in Saudi Arabia. The reason of avoiding the summit over war by Houthi rebels, which has been called by Saudi based GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), is that it is taking place on adversary’s land.
As soon as the ceasefire announcement was made, it was rejected by Houthi official Mohammed al-Bukaiti over sustaining closure of Sanaa airport and restrictions at ports in Yemen by Saudi led coalition. “If the blockade is not lifted, the declaration of the coalition of aggression to stop its military operations will be meaningless because the suffering of Yemenis as a result of the blockade is more severe than the war itself,” he wrote on Twitter early Wednesday.
War in Yemen had started in September of 2014 when Houthi rebels had moved into Sanaa from their stronghold in the north-west part of Yemen, the poorest country in Arab region. The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was then pushed into exile by Iran backed Houthi. The war was entered by Saudi led coalition in March, 2015 to restore Hadi’s power in the country. But the war has stretched unexpectedly with more players joining the scene leading to extreme humanitarian crisis in Yemen, that is now on brink of famine. War has killed over 150,000 people, including both fighters and civilians, according to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.