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Fresh Yemen truce collapses amid ongoing violence

July 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Despite the announcement of a new cease-fire, warplanes and helicopters from a Saudi-led international air coalition early Sunday attacked several positions in Yemen held by the Shia Houthi militia, eyewitnesses reported.

“Apache helicopters struck a Houthi patrol near the [Saudi-Yemeni] border in Hajjah province’s Harad district and carried out seven airstrikes on Houthi positions in Muthallath Ahim village [in the same province],” one witness in Hajjah said.

Coalition warplanes also struck Houthi positions in Yemen’s Amran, Al-Jawf, Maarib and Lahij provinces, according to witnesses.

On Saturday, coalition commanders had called for a five-day “humanitarian cease-fire” to begin on Sunday at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who remains based in Saudi capital Riyadh.

Coalition commanders also vowed to respond with force to any military action taken by the Houthi militia, which remains in control of much of the country.

The latest truce was soon broken, however, when five people were killed late Saturday after Houthi militiamen attacked the southwestern city of Taiz with artillery fire, according to witnesses and local medical sources.

The artillery attacks were confirmed by the Houthi-run Almasirah television channel, which reported early Sunday that militiamen had struck several districts of Taiz.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have since extended their influence southwards to other parts of the country.

In March, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies announced the launch of an international air coalition, which over the last four months has continued to pound Houthi positions across war-torn Yemen.