UN chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemned an exchange of attacks between Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia and the Arab Coalition, calling for “restraint” on all sides in the seven-year conflict.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement Saturday.
The wave of assaults included an attack at an oil plant that set off a huge fire near Jeddah’s Formula One circuit during televised practice sessions on Friday.
The exchange of fire came ahead of the seventh anniversary of the coalition’s military intervention to support Yemen’s government against the Houthis, after they seized Sanaa in 2014.
Earlier Saturday, the Houthis announced a three-day truce with the coalition and dangled the prospect of a “permanent” ceasefire. There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia.
Dujarric said the UN chief reiterated “his calls upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint” and to “urgently reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.”
Thousands of people marched in the Yemeni capital on Saturday to denounce the conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly, according to the UN, and left millions on the brink of famine.
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