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World Saudi-led coalition declares 2-week coronavirus ceasefire in Yemen

04:11  09 april  2020
04:11  09 april  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Saudi - led coalition fighting against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen declared a two - week ceasefire starting Thursday, in a bid to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Announcing the unilateral ceasefire , the coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki on Wednesday said

A Saudi Arabian- led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen has declared a ceasefire , according to officials. Sources told the BBC the ceasefire will come into effect on Thursday in support of UN efforts to end the five-year-old war. The coalition , backed by Western military powers, has been fighting

a truck driving down a dirt road: The unilateral ceasefire follows an escalation in fighting between the warring parties © - The unilateral ceasefire follows an escalation in fighting between the warring parties

The Riyadh-led military coalition fighting Yemen's Huthi rebels has declared a two-week ceasefire in the country starting Thursday in a bid to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The unilateral ceasefire follows an escalation in fighting between the warring parties despite a call by the United Nations for an immediate cessation to protect civilians in the Arab world's poorest nation from the pandemic.

The announcement, due to take effect from 0900 GMT Thursday, marks the first breakthrough since the warring parties agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire in the port city of Hodeida during talks in Sweden in late 2018.

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Yemeni fighters loyal to the Saudi - led coalition last year at the front line in Nehim, Yemen .Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times. Saudi officials said the cease - fire sought to jump-start peace talks brokered by the United Nations and had been motivated by fears of the coronavirus

SANAA, Yemen — Saudi officials say the coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen will begin a cease - fire starting Thursday. The officials told journalists Wednesday night that the decision was in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The coalition is determined... to support efforts towards combatting the spread of COVID-19 pandemic," Turki al-Maliki, the military alliance's spokesman, said on Wednesday.

"The coalition announces a comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen for a period of two weeks, starting on Thursday."

The two-week truce, which could be extended, was aimed at creating "appropriate conditions" for a UN-sponsored meeting between the warring parties to enable a "permanent ceasefire" in Yemen, Maliki added.

There was no immediate reaction from the Iran-aligned rebels. 

But hours before the announcement, the rebels released a comprehensive document that called for a withdrawal of foreign troops and the end of the coalition's blockade on Yemen's land, sea and air ports.

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The Saudi - led coalition has reportedly agreed to a truce in Yemen – five years to UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths appealed for such a ceasefire last week , and Secretary General It was on March 25, 2015 that Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen , first with air strikes against the

The Saudi - led coalition fighting Yemen 's Iran-aligned Houthi movement will announce at midnight on Wednesday it is halting military operations The suspension in fighting, expected to go into effect on Thursday, was agreed in part to avoid a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus in Yemen , where

The coalition, which launched its military intervention to support Yemen's internationally recognised government in 2015, said it was fully committed to a two-week ceasefire.

But when asked whether it will respond if the rebels persist with attacks during the truce, a Saudi official said it reserved the right to "defend our people".

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths welcomed the truce, calling on the warring parties to "cease immediately all hostilities with the utmost urgency".

The ceasefire comes as Saudi Arabia, reeling from plunging oil prices, seeks to extricate itself from the costly five-year conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. 

a group of people that are standing in the snow: The war has already left Yemen gripped by what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis © - The war has already left Yemen gripped by what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis

Saudi deputy defence minister Prince Khalid bin Salman called on the rebels to "show good will" by seriously engaging in dialogue.

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By Aziz El Yaakoubi and Stephen Kalin. DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) - The Saudi - led coalition fighting Yemen 's Iran-aligned Houthi movement will announce at midnight on Wednesday it is halting military operations nationwide to support a U.N. ceasefire initiative

The Saudi - led coalition fighting Yemen ’s Houthi rebels is set to announce a ceasefire in military operations in the next few hours, according to a senior Yemeni official. The official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media did not provide further details.

"The two week ceasefire will hopefully create a more effective climate to deescalate tensions, work with (Griffiths) towards a sustainable political settlement," Prince Khalid said on Twitter.

- 'Litmus test' -

The United Nations has repeatedly called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Yemen to help avert potentially disastrous consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

Yemen's broken healthcare system has so far recorded no cases of the COVID-19 illness, but aid groups have warned that when it does hit, the impact will be catastrophic. 

"The ceasefire seems to be more of a courtesy than a policy -- it comes in response to UN calls to deescalate during the COVID-19 crisis,"  Fatima Abo Alasrar, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, told AFP.

Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government and the Huthi rebels had all welcomed an appeal from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for an "immediate global ceasefire" to help avert disaster for vulnerable people in conflict zones.

"It is most important to watch if the Huthis will stop their military operations," Alasrar said.

Coronavirus: the coalition led by Riyadh announces a ceasefire in Yemen

 Coronavirus: the coalition led by Riyadh announces a ceasefire in Yemen © REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah A young Yemeni man wears a protective mask in Sanaa in fear of the Covid-19 on March 17, 2020 (illustration image ). The military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which intervenes in Yemen in support of the government forces, will observe a cease-fire from this Thursday, April 9 in the country at war to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, said a Saudi official on Wednesday. “We are announcing a cease-fire from Thursday for two weeks.

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Saudi - led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Wednesday that it supports the Yemeni government decision to accept the United Nations Secretary-General's call for a ceasefire in Yemen to combat the spread of coronavirus , state news agency SPA reported, citing the coalition 's

Cairo (AP) -- The Saudi - led military coalition declared a 48-hour ceasefire in Yemen on Saturday, on the condition that Shiite rebels abide by it and allow humanitarian assistance into besieged cities, particularly the city of Taiz. However, minutes after it went into effect, activists in Taiz said that rebel

"That will be the real litmus test of a successful ceasefire as the Huthis have currently opened multiple battlefronts they cannot afford to close."

Fighting recently escalated again between the Huthis and Riyadh-backed Yemeni troops around the strategic northern districts of Al-Jouf and Marib, ending a months-long lull.

And Saudi air defences intercepted Yemeni rebel missiles over Riyadh and the border city of Jizan late last month, leaving two civilians wounded in the curfew-locked capital, state media reported.

It was the first major assault on Saudi Arabia since the Huthi rebels offered last September to halt attacks on the kingdom after devastating assaults on Saudi oil installations.

Last week, the coalition carried out multiple air strikes on Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa in retaliation for the missile strikes.

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