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After pitching ‘peace plan’, Saudi-led coalition steps up military aggression in Yemen

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)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets military commanders in Riyadh on March 16, 2015. (Photo by SIPA USA)

Notwithstanding claims by Saudi Arabia about cessation of hostilities in war-ravaged Yemen, at least 195 violations of ceasefire by the kingdom and its allies have been reported in Hudaydah over the past 24 hours.

According to Yemeni media reports, Saudi warplanes launched fresh raids in the strategic province which borders Red Sea, on Sunday, days after US President Joe Biden’s national-security adviser Jake Sullivan dashed off to Riyadh to meet Saudi officials.

Al-Masirah news network reported artillery and rocket attacks as well as shelling in different parts of Hudaydah province, which has been at the center of the Saudi aggression in Yemen in recent months.

The country situated at the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula has been beset by violence and chaos since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a devastating military campaign to reinstall the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Sana’a.

The protracted war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni civilians and spawned the worst humanitarian catastrophe in modern world history.

Riyadh, facing multiple setbacks in the battlefield, has recently started recruiting Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen, who too have faced stiff resistance from the Yemeni military.

The newly-appointed UN special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, recently declared that the country is “stuck in an indefinite state of war”, and warned that negotiations to end the war will not be easy.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, during his visit to Riyadh on Sunday, described Yemen as a "terrible tragedy", and called for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

During his talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the top European official pressed for ceasefire in the war-ravaged Arab country.

Saudi-US talks on Yemen

With the costly Saudi war having pulled into a deadlock, Riyadh and Washington have entered into intensive talks to end the six-year military invasion in Yemen, according to reports. The details of the conversation between the two sides aren’t clear though.

During his visit to Riyadh last week, Sullivan discussed the proposed “peace plan” with bin Salman, which reportedly includes a comprehensive ceasefire under UN supervision.

The initiative, according to reports, supports a UN proposal to allow ships carrying oil derivatives into Hudaydah port and opening Sana'a international airport to flights to and from selected locations.

It also includes starting negotiations between the Yemeni parties to reach a political solution to the protracted war imposed by the Saudi-led coalition.

Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour, the prime minister of Yemen’s National Salvation Government, has termed the Saudi regime’s “peace plan” an attempt to obfuscate the truth.

He was quoted as saying by al-Masira that it would be better for Saudi Arabia to announce an end to the military aggression on Yemen and lift the siege, instead of presenting “false plans.”

"Saudi Arabia and the United States are not serious about peace in Yemen as they continue their aggression,” he said, while asserting that Sana’a has “always been for peace”.

Yemeni tanker arrives in Hudaydah

A Yemeni gas tanker has arrived at Hudaydah port almost three months after being illegally seized by Saudi authorities.

Reports quoted Ali Masar, a spokesman for the Yemeni government’s gas company, saying that the Claudia ship, with 8,473 cubic meters of gas, arrived in the port city on Sunday.

The vessel, a LPG Tanker built in 1990, remained in Saudi custody for about 82 days, reports said. According to VesselFinder, the ship arrived at the port on Oct 1.

The people of Yemen have been dealing with severe fuel shortage for several years as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s draconian siege.

Estimates by the Yemeni media show that the Saudi-led forces have been plundering 85 percent of profits made from the resources extracted from Yemen’s oil and gas fields.

Yemeni officials have in the past warned that the lives of 26 million Yemenis will be at risk if the act of preventing Yemeni fuel vessels from entering Hudaydah continues.

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