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Rebels agree to five-day cease fire period for Yemen humanitarian aid

By Doug G. Ware
Rebels agree to five-day cease fire period for Yemen humanitarian aid
Militants loyal to Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi take their positions next to his supporters, in Taiz, Yemen, March, 30, 2015. At least 1,400 people have been killed in the country since the Houthi rebel group seized power in the nation's Parliament in mid-March, which has led to more than a month of U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes. Photo: Anees Mahyoub/UPI | License Photo

SANAA, Yemen, May 10 (UPI) -- The dominating rebel faction in Yemen has agreed to a brief cease-fire period to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians in the nation's war-scarred capital.

The Western-backed Saudi military coalition, which has recently delivered relentless airstrikes in and around Sanaa, is attempting to drive out the Houthi insurgents who have taken over Yemen's Parliament, Al-Jazeera America reported Sunday.

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The rebel group and allies in the nation's broken armed forces agreed to accept the five-day cease-fire, which will begin at 11 p.m. local time Tuesday, so that food, medicine and fuel can be delivered to civilians hit hard by the bombings -- which have pounded the city for more than a month.

Constant fighting in a civil war has so far killed more than 1,000, wounded more and left many civilian women and children homeless in Yemen.

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The Houthi insurgents succeeded last month in seizing power and they aim to restore the government of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Iranian government and Hezbollah have aided the Houthis in that enterprise.

The U.S.-backed Saudi coalition has been trying to drive the rebels out of Sanaa to restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's regime.

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All sides of the conflict have said they will retaliate if the cease-fire is broken. The rebels said they will honor it if it is "real and serious."

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The airstrikes have destroyed numerous locations in and around the capital city, including Saleh's residence. But the former president was not hurt.

"This aggression is cowardly. Go ahead and come by land, we'll make a welcome for you," he reportedly said.

Iran's official news agency said it planned Sunday to send a ship containing humanitarian aid to a rebel-held Yemeni port.

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The Houthis, who have continued an insurgency since 2004, say they are opposed to Al Qaida fighters in Yemen and has accused the Hadi regime of supporting the terror network.

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