Yemen Conflict: UN-Brokered Three-Day Ceasefire Begins


With parties slated to hold a 72-hour ceasefire starting Wednesday, Al-Fusail says now is an important time to have do an honest accounting of the modern US role in Yemen, in hopes of stemming further escalation.

Shortly before the truce, the rebels' military spokesman, General Sharaf Lokman, said they would respect the ceasefire as long as "the enemy" also abided by it on land, sea and air.

Meanwhile Qasemi said that the USA government should be much more careful about the "measures taken by those who have sunk themselves in the cruel war against the Yemenis and try to increase the tension and expand the war in order to rescue themselves".

A United Nations report said air strikes by the coalition were suspected of causing around half of all civilian deaths, while rebel-affiliated groups were responsible for about a quarter.

McGoldrick said he hoped the cessation of hostilities would be extended and would herald a resumption of peace talks that collapsed in August.

But on Wednesday night Sanaa fell quiet, residents said.

With the help of allies, Houthis now control the country's capital, Sana'a as well as large swaths of territory in the North, while forces loyal to former President Abd Rabbbuh Mansur Hadi control most of the South.

In another major development, the US Navy for the first time targeted Huthi rebels directly.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed make a joint statement on Yemen at Lancaster House in London on Sunday.

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The announcement of the ceasefire follows worldwide alarm over the deaths of 140 people in a Saudi airstrike which hit a funeral gathering in Sanaa.

More than 4,000 civilians have been killed and 3 million of the country's 26 million people have been driven from their homes by the fighting.

However, deescalation swiftly followed as the coalition on Saturday acknowledged that one of its warplanes had "wrongly targeted" the funeral in Sanaa based on "incorrect information".

Pro-Hadi forces said in a statement they recorded nine violations by the rebel Houthis and their allies after midnight in Nahm, northeast of Sanaa. "We hope this war ends soon, because people are exhausted".

Both the rebels and pro-government forces have come under increased global pressure to silence their guns.

"The Saudi-led military coalition has now essentially admitted to committing war crimes", he said.

But all signs suggest that war has only strengthened AQAP's foothold on the southern coast, and there is even evidence that elements of the Saudi coalition have fought alongside AQAP combatants.

"I am more optimistic, actually, because the environment is completely different from the previous" truce, he told AFP.

Britain has come under frequent criticism for continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia in the face of repeated atrocities in Yemen.