Pro-government forces take Yemen Island before ceasefire

Forces backed by Saudi-led airstrikes retook Zuqar island from Shiite militias. (Google maps)

Yemeni security officials say pro-government forces backed by Saudi-led airstrikes took an island in the Red Sea from Shiite militias, just hours before a weeklong ceasefire went into effect.

Tuesday’s seizure of Zuqar island also comes as delegations from Yemen’s warring factions convened for peace talks in northern Switzerland.

Yemeni officials said fighting intensified across the country as both sides sought to consolidate positions ahead of the U.N.-brokered meeting. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Past efforts to end the conflict between the internationally recognized government and Houthi militias have failed.

The two sides initially agreed to halt fire at midnight Monday but the coalition delayed the truce to midday Tuesday. There was no immediate word if the ceasefire was holding.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49