Asiri: Yemen army to enter Sanaa if talks fail

Yemen’s recognized government will launch a military operation to enter Sanaa if talks fail, the Saudi-led military coalition spokesman said

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If the United Nations announces the failure of peace talks in Kuwait aimed at ending the year-long war in Yemen, Yemen’s internationally recognized government will launch a military operation to enter the capital Sanaa, the Saudi-led military coalition spokesman said on Tuesday.

Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri defended the presence of coalition troops in Yemen, saying it was meant to protect the Yemeni people, not invade the country or take its resources.

He said coalition forces used precision-guided munitions to hit targets in Yemen to avoid harming civilians.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels and Yemen’s Saudi-backed government are trying to reach a peace deal in Kuwait.

Following a two-day interruption, the two delegations resumed face-to-face talks on Monday after mediation efforts and an appeal by the U.N. envoy.

The two sides met again on Wednesday and agreed in principle on a proposal to free half of the prisoners and detainees held by both sides ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, which starts in early June.

They also discussed the mechanism of the prisoners’ exchange, Al Arabiya’s correspondent in Kuwait said.

Meanwhile, a top Yemeni commander escaped an assassination attempt by a suicide car bomber in southern Yemen on Wednesday, in an attack that also killed three people and injured others, a military statement and security officials said.

The officials say that the bomber targeted Maj. Gen. Abdel-Rahman al-Halili, the commander of the First Army District in the province of Hadramawt.

He was heading to a camp located between the towns of Qatn and Sayoum.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but al-Hilali has been targeted by al-Qaeda previously in failed assassination attempts.

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