Yemen: Houthis resume attacks on government forces after six-month truce ends

Yemen: Houthis resume attacks on government forces after six-month truce ends
Yemen's Houthi rebels launched attacks against government positions since the country's truce ended, including in the Taiz province in the southwest and the oil-rich Marib Governorate in Yemen's east.
3 min read
04 October, 2022
Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched attacks in a number of governorates [MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images-file photo]

Yemen's Houthi rebels resumed attacks on government forces just hours after the end of a six-month UN-mediated truce between the country's warring parties.

The Iran-backed Houthis launched attacks in a number of governorates in an attempt to secure battlefield gains, The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported.

This includes attacks against government positions in the Taiz province in the southwest and the oil-rich Marib Governorate in Yemen's east.

Colonel Saleh Al-Qutaibi, deputy chief of the Yemeni army's media centre, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the Houthis had launched sporadic attacks on Sunday night on army positions in southern Marib.

On Monday morning, the rebels made attempts to infiltrate other sites in the desert areas east of the strategic Balak mountains.

Yemen's army "were on the lookout for them, and confronted those attacks", Al-Qutaibi said, adding they "expected attacks from the [Houthi] militia, whose attacks didn't stop in those areas even during the truce period".

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The army is now preparing to repel further Houthi attacks, he said, and soldiers have been ordered not to launch any offensives on rebel positions, and only defend their lines.

Military field sources also told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed skirmishes took place in northwest Marib following Houthi attacks.

Other military and local sources said the rebels had sent reinforcements, including military vehicles and fighters, to frontlines in the province, particularly in the governorate's south.

In Taiz province, the Yemeni army announced on Sunday evening that it had thwarted Houthi infiltration efforts on three fronts near Taiz city, within hours of the truce ending.

The truce between Yemen's Houthis and Saudi-led coalition ended at 7pm on Sunday after the warring parties failed to renew the ceasefire.

The coalition intervened in Yemen's war in 2015, the year after it began, in support of the internationally recognised government.

Both the coalition and Houthis have been accused of committing grave violations by rights groups.

United Nations special envoy Hans Grundberg said late on Sunday he would continue to push for an extended and expanded deal between the sides, both under intense international pressure to come to an agreement.

Grundberg's proposal is for a six-month truce extension, a mechanism to pay civil service wages, and greater movement of goods and people in the country where 80 percent of the population of some 30 million rely on aid.

An initial two-month truce was agreed in April and renewed twice despite grievances by both sides over its implementation.

It allowed some fuel ships into Hodeida port and some commercial flights from the capital Sanaa, both held by the Houthis.

"I will continue my relentless efforts to engage with the parties to quickly reach an agreement on a way forward," Grundberg said in a statement, urging the parties to maintain calm.

The Taiz Military Axis said on Sunday it had monitored the Houthis committing over 5,000 truce violations in Taiz alone during the six months it was in effect.

Abdullah Ali, a 58-year-old teacher in the capital Sanaa, told Reuters that people were rushing to stock up on fuel and food after the truce expired.

"We hoped to start receiving our salaries and to move towards a ceasefire. We are shocked," Ali told the agency by phone.

Reuters contributed to this report.