Houthis attack despite coalition truce

Less than an hour after the humanitarian truce began, the militias launched attacks on three Yemeni cities

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Yemen’s Houthi militias early Monday broke a humanitarian truce less than an hour after it began, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The Arab coalition on Saturday announced a ceasefire to take effect at 11.59 p.m. (2059 GMT) on Sunday evening for five days to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid.


The militias launched an attack on the cities of Taiz, Marib and Lahej shortly after a pre-arranged ceasefire declared by the Saudi-led coalition, the sources added.

They also shelled residential areas in Jebel Sabr, sources told Al Arabiya.

Earlier, Yemeni forces allied with a Saudi-led coalition fought Houthi militia for control of the country's largest air base north of Aden on Sunday, residents said.

The al-Anad base, 50 km from the southern port city, has been held by the Iranian-allied Houthi movement for much of a fourth-month-old civil war and commands the approaches to Aden.

The head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said in comments carried by the Saba news agency that the group was not notified by the United Nations about the ceasefire and would not form a position towards it until then.

"There is no positive or negative stance until the United Nations formally addresses us concerning the matter," he said.

The Iranian-allied Houthi forces held up 16 trucks carrying humanitarian aid from the World Food Program through Yemen's Al Hudaydah province to support displaced persons in the city of Taiz.

Four months of air raids and war have killed more than 3,500 people in the Arabian Peninsula state. Aden has suffered especially, with severe shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

The Arab coalition, allied with southern secessionist fighters, retook much of Aden last week in the first significant ground victory in their campaign to end Houthi control over much of Yemen and restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Houthi fighters and army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh captured Aden at the outset of the war, prompting Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia, an ally along with the United States.

Aden and other southern provinces have been largely inaccessible to U.N. food aid, and about 13 million people -- over half the population -- are thought in dire need of food.

Warplanes attack

Coalition warplanes carried out raids near Sanaa late on Saturday and shortly after dawn on Sunday, residents reported. The targets included a military base near the city.

In the city itself, a bomb exploded underneath a passenger bus, killing three people and wounding five in the southern district of Dar Selm, police said. No further details were immediately available.

Ali Ahmedi, a spokesman for anti-Houthi forces in Aden, said they continued to fight Houthi forces at the al-Anad base and had damaged aircraft, tanks and equipment stationed there.

Residents said forces of the so-called Southern Resistance, a secessionist movement allied with the coalition, had taken Sabr, a northern district of Aden. The residents reported 25 Houthis and 10 Southern Resistance fighters had been killed.

The Saudi-led coalition began its campaign on March 26, striving to reverse months of advances by the Houthis after they moved from their northern stronghold last year, capturing the capital Sanaa and pushing south to Aden.

A senior Houthi commander, Abdul-Khaliq al-Houthi, was captured on Saturday by the Southern Resistance, the secessionist movement said on its official Twitter account.

Houthi officials could not immediately be contacted for comment. Reuters could not independently verify the information.

Yemenis say Abdul-Khaliq al-Houthi, a brother of Houthi leader Abdul-Malek al-Houthi, played an important role in the militia's capture of Sanaa in September.

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