Coalition: Yemen govt did not request truce

Houthi followers hold mock missiles and their rifles as they shout slogans during a demonstration against the United Nations in Sanaa. (File: Reuters)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi militia said on Saturday it had not received a request from the Yemeni government in exile to pause its aerial campaign during a truce brokered by the United Nations, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

"The leadership of the coalition: we did not receive a request from the Yemeni government regarding the truce," read a news flash aired on the channel Saturday.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Assiri said the bloc was "not concerned with this truce because it does not provide a commitment from the Houthi militia."

The report came after Saudi-led air strikes and heavy shelling between warring factions shook several cities in Yemen overnight.

Houthi militias shelled the Arish neighborhood in Aden and a number of residential areas in Taez shortly after the ceasefire went into effect just before midnight, Al Arabiya reported Saturday.

Coalition warplanes raided Houthi positions in the central city of Taez, according to Agence France-Presse.

Violence continued through the night in Taez, with witnesses saying the Houthis had bombed several neighborhoods, AFP reported.

Besides the raids in Taez, no other airstrikes have been reported in the country since the ceasefire came into effect, it added.

Yemen’s official news agency, which is run by the exiled government, accused the Houthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh militiamen of sending reinforcements to Taez ahead of the truce.

Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition struck a number of weapon depots and targeted suspected assemblies of militiamen loyal to the Houthis and deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa.

The coalition flew sorties over Sanaa, but there were no attacks after midnight, witnesses said.

The six-day pause to allow in desperately needed aid was declared after U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon received assurances from Hadi and Houthi rebels that it would be respected.
 

(with Reuters and AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:56 - GMT 10:56
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