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Yemen truce violated by Saudi forces 114 times: Army spokesman

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
People ride a motorbike in front of a building destroyed by a recent Saudi airstrike in the northwestern Yemeni city of Sa’ada, November 16, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Yemeni military officials say Saudi Arabia and its allies have violated a recent ceasefire declared by Riyadh in the country over 100 times.

Yemen’s army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman said Sunday that the two-day ceasefire has been violated 114 times by Riyadh’s military since it went into effect on Saturday.

He said Saudi forces had launched attacks against various Yemeni provinces including Sana’a, Ta’izz and Sa’ada, adding that in some of the attacks internationally-banned weapons were used.

The Yemeni general said the army forces and allied Popular Committees fighters remained committed to the cessation of hostilities, but were ready to “defend Yemen’s independence in the event of continuing aggression.”

Saudi Arabia said it had decided to begin a 48-hour ceasefire from 12:00 noon in Yemen’s timing (0900 GMT) on Saturday.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the naval and air “blockade” would, however, remain in place and surveillance jets would continue to fly over Yemen.

The announcement followed a request for a ceasefire by Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi -- himself based in Riyadh -- to Saudi King Salman, a Saudi statement said.

On Monday, Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri said the ceasefire ended at midday and will not be renewed following what it claimed were repeated “violations” by the Ansarullah movement.

He claimed that conditions are not ripe “for prolonging the truce” since more people had been killed in the southwestern city of Ta’izz and that the Houthi fighters had fired “more surface-to-surface missiles” at Saudi military bases.

Meanwhile, Saudi warplanes targeted the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, hours before the ceasefire came to an end. Local residents said the aerial attacks hit military sites on a mountain overlooking the city early Monday.

The powerful blasts shook buildings as it rocked several city neighborhoods. There are no reports of casualties.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an offensive against Yemen since March 2015 in a bid to crush the Houthi Ansarullah. The war has left at least 11,400 civilians dead, according to a latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.

The US has also been providing logistic and surveillance support to the kingdom in the bloody military campaign.

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