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Yemen Army Accuses Houthis of Violating UN Truce in Marib, Taiz, Hodeidah

Yemen Army Accuses Houthis of Violating UN Truce in Marib, Taiz, Hodeidah

Monday, 4 April, 2022 - 05:45
A Yemeni fighter backed by the Saudi-led coalition fires his weapon during clashes with the Houthis on the Kassara frontline near Marib, Yemen, June 20, 2021. (AP)

The Yemeni army accused the Iran-backed Houthi militias of violating the recently declared truce in the country, specifically in the Marib, Taiz and Hodeidah provinces.

United Nations envoy Hans Grundberg announced the two-month truce on Friday at the intra-Yemeni consultations underway in Riyadh. The consultations are being sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and will conclude on April 7.

The terms of the truce include facilitating the entry of 18 fuel ships into the ports of Hodeidah and allowing two commercial flights a week to and from Sanaa airport. The terms also include convening a meeting between the parties to agree on opening roads in Taiz and elsewhere to improve civilians' freedom of movement inside Yemen.

Military spokesman Abdo Majali said the Houthis have not committed to the truce.

"As usual, the terrorist Houthi militias have met the truce with violations and reneging on pledges," he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He revealed that the Houthis launched on Sunday several infiltration operations and attacks on the southern and northwestern fronts in Marib. The military succeeded in thwarting all these operations.

The militias also launched the occasional armed drone and fired artillery at military positions in Hodeidah and the eastern front in Taiz, said Majali.

The UN truce was violated just hours after it went into effect on Saturday, he added.

In spite of the violations, he stressed that the army and Saudi-led Arab coalition were so far committed to the ceasefire.

"The army has not carried out any offensive attack and has only defended itself from the Houthi attacks," he stressed.

Coalition jets have also not carried out any flights or targeted any Houthi position.

In Riyadh, GCC Ambassador to Yemen Sarhan Al-Minaikher said the absence of any Yemeni party from the talks will not impact them.

He stressed, however, that the invitation is still open for any absentees to attend.

The Houthis have refused to head to the talks despite being invited.

Speaking after the conclusion of the latest round of talks on Sunday, Al-Minaikher said the GCC aims to bring together all Yemenis so that they can reach agreements and roadmap drawn up by themselves.

He noted that the truce will help allow the gatherers to achieve their aims at the talks.

Moreover, he remarked that the truce "was exactly what Saudi Arabia had called for in March 2021 when the coalition declared a ceasefire at the request of the GCC secretary-general."

One participant at the consultations described the sessions that have so far been held as "rare" in terms of their organization.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said this is the first time the Yemenis are being brought together and confronted with their problems.

He revealed that a general air of consensus has prevailed at the consultations, adding that the Houthis have missed an opportunity for themselves and Yemen.

He expressed his optimism that the consultations will be a success, because the GCC has thrown its political weight behind them.

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