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No extension of Yemen truce, Saudi-led coalition says

By
Ed Adamczyk
Houthi supporters in Sana'a, Yemen, on November 10, 2016 brandish weapons during an anti-Saudi gathering to mobilize more fighters to deploy to several battlefronts. The Saudi-led coalition, involved in anti-Houthi campaign in support of the Sunni government, said on November 21 that a 48-hour cease-fire will not be extended. Photo by Yahya Arhad/EPA
Houthi supporters in Sana'a, Yemen, on November 10, 2016 brandish weapons during an anti-Saudi gathering to mobilize more fighters to deploy to several battlefronts. The Saudi-led coalition, involved in anti-Houthi campaign in support of the Sunni government, said on November 21 that a 48-hour cease-fire will not be extended. Photo by Yahya Arhad/EPA

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A 48-hour truce in Yemen, which ended Monday, will not be extended, the Saudi-led coalition supporting the Yemeni government announced.

The coalition said repeated violations of the truce, announced on Nov. 15 by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, have prompted the resumption of military operations, which involve airstrikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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"There is no respect [for the truce], only violations," coalition spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Assiri said, adding there are "no orders to extend the ceasefire."

Assiri added there were over 500 breaches of the ceasefire by Houthi militias in Yemen and in Saudi Arabia's southern provinces of Najran and Jizan, adjacent to Yemen, the Al Arabiya news channel reported Monday. The truce brought a break in airstrikes to the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, but fighting continued around the city of Taiz.

Kerry's announcement said both sides pledged to negotiate a national unity government by the end of the year. Prior truces have also failed.

The coalition, which includes the United States, began its military involvement in Yemen in March 2015. More than 7,000 people have been killed since the conflict escalated, the BBC reported.

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