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Yemen laments Saudi-led coalition’s failure to respond to three-day ceasefire

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)
A soldier stands guard at the site of airstrikes in Sana’a, Yemen, on March 26, 2022. (Photo by Xinhua news agency)

Yemen's Supreme Political Council has slammed the Saudi-led coalition for failure to respond to a three-day truce announced by the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, stating there will be no peace in the impoverished country unless the crippling blockade is lifted.

The council said in a statement that the initiative demonstrated beyond doubt the steely determination of the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government to establish overall peace and stability in Yemen, and uphold the principle of good neighborliness.

“We are fully aware of the nature of the Saudi-led coalition of aggression, constant procrastination and foot-dragging, and other deviant methods,” the statement read.

“We do not object to any positive proposal put forward under any title and from any party; but we reiterate there will be no peace without lifting the siege,” the Yemeni Supreme Political Council pointed out.

The council stressed that any peace initiative to end the Yemeni crisis and reach a comprehensive political resolution must respect the sovereignty and independence of the Yemeni nation.

“Yemen reserves the fundamental right to adopt political and military measures that will guarantee and safeguard its legitimate interests,” the statement emphasized.

On Monday evening, the leader of Ansarullah movement urged the Riyadh regime to seize on his group’s announcement of a three-day truce with the Saudi-led alliance to immediately halt all military operations and brutal siege against the country.

“There is no chance for the countries waging aggression against Yemen to escape our retaliatory attacks, and get out of the current predicament unless they end the onslaught, lift the all-out blockade and end occupation,” Houthi said.

The Ansarullah chief warned the Saudi-led coalition against losing the opportunity provided by the three-day truce, calling on Saudi Arabia and its allies to agree to a permanent ceasefire. “You will be regretful if you miss the chance,” Houthi stressed.

Chairman of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council Mahdi al-Mashat n Saturday evening announced the suspension of retaliatory missile and drone attacks and all military actions against Saudi Arabia for a period of three days.

“This is a sincere invitation and practical step to rebuild trust and take all the sides from the arena of talks to the arena of acts,” Mashat said.

The truce came a day after a wave of drone and missile attacks hit targets across Saudi Arabia.

Five Yemeni civilians wounded in Saudi shelling despite 'ceasefire'

Meanwhile, at least five civilians have sustained injuries when Saudi border forces shelled a residential neighborhood in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada despite a month-long ceasefire declared by the Saudi-led coalition.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Saudi troops fired projectiles at the Shada'a district on Wednesday afternoon.

The sources added that five people were taken to al-Rifi Hospital in the Razih district to receive treatment following the shelling.

Late on Tuesday, the Saudi-led coalition announced a ceasefire and said it would take effect as of Wednesday morning. 

“The joint forces command of the coalition announces a halt of military operations in Yemen beginning at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Wednesday, March 30, 2022,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported, citing a statement from the coalition’s spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki.

This “coincides with the launch of Yemeni-Yemeni consultations [in Riyadh] with the aim of creating the appropriate conditions for their success and creating a positive environment during the holy month of Ramadan for peace making in Yemen,” it added.

Ansarullah has shunned the meeting in Riyadh that is hosted by the Riyadh-led Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and involves representatives from the Saudi-backed administration of Yemen's fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi as well as US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. The Yemeni resistance movement says it won’t travel to enemy territory for talks.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies, chief among them the UAE, and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.

The objective was to bring back to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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