The second UN-brokered humanitarian pause in Yemen has been violated by Saudi-led air strikes less than an hour after the truce came into effect. According to reports at least three cities witnessed bombardment.
The airstrikes first hit
the country’s third-largest city of Taiz, after a UN-declared
truce kicked in after midnight Friday, official sources on the
ground confirmed to Reuters and the Associated Press.
Witnesses on the ground said that fighting engulfed the city
prior to the bombardment, with both sides placing the blame for
truce violation on each other. At least three airstrikes hit
Houthi fighters positions in Taiz.
In Sana’a, a number of strikes were targeting the presidential
residence in the city center, while in Aden a number of Houthi
positions came under attack, a security source in the Aden
Governorate told Sputnik early on Saturday.
Member of the Houthi rebels’ political council Hamza al-Husi told
Sputnik that air-strikes began just 40 minutes after the start of
the humanitarian pause.
Witnesses also reported that Saudi-led air strikes had increased
across the country in the hours before the truce was to take
The UN-declared truce began after midnight Friday and was meant
to offer a humanitarian window of assistance for the
conflict-torn country. It was scheduled to last through the end
of the holy month of Ramadan which ends on July 17.
More than 3,000 people, mostly civilians have been killed since
the coalition started their bombing campaign in March, aiming to
get rid of anti-government Houthi rebels and restore the rule of
the exiled Sunni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Yet despite Saudi intervention there has not been any significant
progress, as Yemen’s army units, which are loyal to the country’s
previous president and Houthi ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, are
putting up a stiff fight.
The Saudi-imposed blockade of its neighbor and air campaign
created a humanitarian catastrophe for Yemen, with UN warning
that the Arab world’s poorest country is “one step” from
According to UN more than 80 percent of Yemen’s roughly 25
million residents now require some form of aid. Another one
million civilians were displaced by the conflict. The first
humanitarian pause, advocated by Russia and the UN was allowed to
take place for five days in May, but did not bring much relief as
the air campaign continued shortly afterwards.