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Yemen humanitarian ceasefire to begin

Saudi FM said the proposed humanitarian pause depends on the Houthis respecting the ceasefire

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia’s proposed five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen is due to start later on Tuesday after more than six weeks of airstrikes in the Arab country.

The truce, which was first announced during a mutual press conference between the Saudi foreign minister and U.S. Secretary of State, is expected to begin at 11.00 p.m.

"We have made a decision that the ceasefire will begin this Tuesday, May 12, at 11.00 p.m (2000 GMT) and will last for five days subject to renewal if it works out," Saudi’s Adel al-Jubair said last during the conference.

Jubair said the proposed five-day humanitarian truce depends on the Houthis respecting the ceasefire.

Houthi militias accepted the proposed truce to “open the gate for humanitarian aid,” a spokesman for Yemen’s rebel-controlled military, Sharaf Luqman, said.

Luqman warned that a breach of the ceasefire would be met with a military response.

Saudi coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri also warned that any violation by the Iranian-backed Houthis would end the ceasefire.

Saudi-led warplanes

Hours before ceasefire is scheduled to begin, the Saudi-led warplanes carried out new strikes on an arms depot in the rebel-held Yemeni capital.

It was the second straight day that the coalition had hit the depot in a military base on Mount Noqum in the eastern outskirts of Sanaa.

The truce would be the first since the Saudi-led coalition began carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis on March 26. The strikes are aimed at returning President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Riyadh, to power.

Also on Tuesday, The newly appointed U.N. envoy to Yemen arrived in therebel-held capital Sanaa, an airport official said, according to AFP.

Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who was appointed in late April, toured Gulf countries that have waged a more than six week air war against the rebels before travelling to Sanaa.