At least three civilians have been killed after Saudi border forces launched a barrage of rockets and artillery rounds at a residential area in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, hours after the Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a seven-year war on Yemen, agreed to a two-month truce.
According to a report published by the Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, the victims lost their lives as Saudi troops struck the Shada’a district.
Furthermore, the Saudi-led military coalition’s soldiers and their mercenaries have breached a truce deal for the western coastal province of Hudaydah 81 times in the last 24 hours.
Citing an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room, al-Masirah TV reported that the violations included spying flights over various regions, including Hays and al-Jabaliya neighborhoods, 25 counts of artillery shelling, and 66 shooting incidents.
UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced the ceasefire on Friday, saying the two-month truce would come into effect on Saturday at 07:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Saturday and could be renewed with consent of the parties, Reuters reported.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the truce “must be a first step to ending Yemen’s devastating war,” urging the concerned parties to build on the opportunity to “resume an inclusive and comprehensive Yemeni political process.”
The deal stipulates halting offensive military operations, including cross-border attacks, and allowing fuel-laden ships to enter Yemen’s lifeline al-Hudaydah port and commercial flights in and out of the airport in the capital Sana’a “to predetermined destinations in the region.”
Grundberg said the Saudi-led coalition responded positively to the truce proposal.
On Friday, Ansarullah spokesman and chief negotiator, Mohammed Abdel-Salam, welcomed the truce in a Twitter post.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, also said on Twitter that the truce’s “credibility would be in implementation.”
Another senior Ansarullah official, Abdul Malik al-Ajri, also welcomed the truce but said it would not accommodate most of the urgent demands of the Yemeni nation.
Ajri stressed that the Sana’a-based National Security Government is determined to secure a complete removal of the cruel Saudi-led siege and stop all actions that endanger the lives of ordinary Yemenis, according to al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website.
“The ceasefire will reduce the hardship and problems of our people, and will be a prelude to the complete lifting of the siege and a final solution,” Ajri pointed out.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies 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 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.