Saudi-led coalition strikes Yemen despite rebel truce

  • Saudi Arabia carried out air strikes on Houthi-held areas in Yemen.
  • The strikes came after the Houthis offered a truce and peace talks.
  • The UN has declared Yemen a country with the worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi-led coalition carried out air strikes in Yemen early on Sunday after the country’s Houthi rebels called a three-day truce and offered a permanent ceasefire, Saudi media said.

The raids targeted Sanaa, the rebel-held capital, according to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ekhbariya TV, which tweeted “the start of air strikes on Houthi camps and strongholds in Sanaa” around midnight.

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The attacks began shortly after the Iran-backed Houthis announced a three-day truce and offered peace talks on condition that the Saudis stop their air strikes and blockade of Yemen and remove “foreign forces”.

Rebel reports of casualties could not be independently confirmed.

The Houthi truce followed a wave of drone and missile attacks on Saudi targets on Friday, including an oil depot near Jeddah’s Formula One track that turned into a raging inferno during televised practice sessions.

It was announced on the seventh anniversary of the intervention led by oil-rich Saudi Arabia in Yemen, its impoverished neighbour, after the Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014.

The conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people directly or indirectly and displaced millions, creating what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis have turned down an invitation to peace talks in Riyadh, scheduled for the coming days, to be hosted by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

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