UN condemns attacks by Yemen rebels and Saudi-led coalition

UN condemns attacks by Yemen rebels and Saudi-led coalition
The proposed three-day truce looks to be short-lived as Saudi-led coalition forces respond to Houthi attacks with air raids on Sanaa.
2 min read
27 March, 2022
The UN has warned that 23 million Yemenis are at risk of hunger and disease because of the war [Getty]

The UN secretary-general has condemned escalating violence between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition, after a week of retaliatory attacks.

"The secretary-general is deeply concerned about reports of ongoing airstrikes in Hodeidah city and the targeting of Hodeidah's ports, which provide a critical humanitarian lifeline for the Yemeni population," the UN chief's spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also condemned "Friday’s aerial attacks on civilian and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia by the Houthis”, calling for both sides to "immediately deescalate, cease hostilities and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law".

The Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes 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 airstrikes on Houthi camps and strongholds in Sanaa" around midnight.

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

Earlier in the week, a Yemeni rebel attack on a Saudi oil plant set off a huge fire near Jeddah's Formula One circuit during televised practice sessions on Friday, part of a wave of assaults on Aramco facilities.

Houthi forces then proposed a ceasefire and the overture to peace talks, in an attempt to bring an end to Yemen’s devastating war.

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.