Coalition ends Yemen ceasefire

Coalition ends Yemen ceasefire

Army soldiers loyal to Yemen's legitimate government of President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi ride on the back of a patrol truck in the country's northern city of Marib. — Reuters

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Coalition Command supporting legitimacy in Yemen announced on Saturday the end to a ceasefire that began on Dec. 15, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

“The leadership of the coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen announces the end of the ceasefire in Yemen beginning at 2.00 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Saturday,” SPA said.

In a statement, the Coalition Command announced that it was and is still eager to create a suitable circumstance to find a peaceful solution in Yemen and enable the legitimate government to restore security and stability. So, it agreed for a ceasefire as requested by Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi. The ceasefire was also extended for an additional period.

The coalition statement said that the ceasefire had been ended due to continuous rebel “attacks on the Kingdom’s territories by firing ballistic missiles toward Saudi cities, targeting Saudi border posts, and hampering aid operations.”

The rebels have also “continued to shell residents and kill and detain Yemeni civilians in cities under their control,” said the coalition.

“All this shows how unserious the militias and their allies are and their disregard for the lives of civilians, and how they have clearly exploited this truce to make gains.”

The Houthi rebels intensified their rocket attacks across the Saudi border in recent days, prompting the coalition to threaten severe reprisals.

The statement comes after the coalition announced that Saudi Air Defense had intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen toward the Kingdom’s city of Abha late on Friday.

The “launcher was located and destroyed in Yemen,” it said.

The Saudis have deployed Patriot missile batteries designed to counter attacks and have recently been intercepting missiles fired from Yemen on an almost-daily basis.

More than 80 people, most of them soldiers and border guards, have been killed in shelling and cross-border skirmishes in the Kingdom’s south since coalition operations began in Yemen.

On Thursday, three civilians including two children were killed in cross-border missile attacks from Yemen on a residential area in the southwestern Jazan. Eleven others were wounded, among them nine children, according to the Saudi Civil Defense.