Yemen: Houthi rebels leader warns Saudi-led coalition of possible 'return to war'
'return of war' and further escalation if the group's demands are not met.
The leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebels has warned the Saudi-led coalition of a possible return to war if the group's demands are not met, according to reports.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi sent the warning in a speech delivered Friday, the 19th anniversary of his brother’s killing by government forces in Saada, Arabi 21 reported.
The speech came weeks after reports that the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis revived back-channel talks to strengthen an informal ceasefire.
"We warn and advise the countries… [referring to the Riyadh-led coalition] that our patience will run out if you don’t initiate serious and practical understanding in humanitarian and livelihood matters," al-Houthi reportedly said in the speech.
He called for "continuous vigilance and constant readiness against all possibilities, including the return of war and escalation at any moment".
Al-Houthi said any path of dialogue or agreement must lead to the withdrawal of coalition forces and prevent interference in internal affairs.
He said the current "reduction in escalation" was in place in large part thanks to Omani mediation.
Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen's war in March 2015, beginning an aerial bombing campaign against Houthi rebels, who had captured the Yemeni capital Sanaa from the internationally-recognised Yemeni government the previous year.
Close to 9,000 civilians have been killed in airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition since its involvement in the war, in which it struck key infrastructure, hospitals, weddings and schools in Yemen.