Houthis truce violations despite coalition efforts for peace and Corona virus threat

April 20, 2020

The Houthis are still pursuing the policy of escalation in Yemen more than a week after the Arab coalition announced a temporary truce to concentrate on combating the Covid-19 spread and in light of an ongoing international call to agree on a truce.The Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen announced that the Houthis launched a ballistic missile at the city of Marib, in eastern Yemen.

Brigadier Turki al-Maliki, a coalition spokesman, said that the shelling was launched on Friday evening, when Houthi elements launched a ballistic missile towards the city of Marib, according to a statement in which he stated that the shelling was “deliberate targeting of civilians.”

The coalition spokesman did not provide any details about the losses caused by the missile launch, and whether or not it was intercepted by the coalition.”This escalation confirms the rebels’ rejection of all efforts and initiatives to implement the ceasefire and reduce the escalation, the most recent of which was the initiative of the Joint Forces Command for the ceasefire for two weeks.”He added.

He pointed out that the joint forces command of the coalition continues to apply the utmost restraint with the rules of engagement but has the right of legitimate response to cases of self-defense by taking the necessary measures to protect civilians inside Yemen.”The coalition forces still respect the commitment to the cease fire and support the efforts of the Special Envoy to Yemen to reach a political solution,” the coalition spokesman stressed.

This isn’t the sole breach of truce by Houthi elements. A woman and two children, were killed in a Houthi artillery bombardment targeting a residential neighborhood in the Yemeni governorate of Al-Bayda, according to eyewitnesses.The witnesses stated that an artillery bombardment targeted a residential neighborhood in the city of Al-Okla, located in Al-Bayda governorate, central Yemen.The bombing resulted in the death of a woman and her child, in addition to another child, while a number of civilians were injured and transferred to a hospital for treatment, without specifying their numbers or clarifying the severity of their injuries.

The internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Houthis share control of Al-Bayda governorate, whose regions have been witnessing a number of clashes, which have increased in ferocity in the past weeks.These attacks come to undermine what was confirmed by the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday about achieving “significant progress” towards a ceasefire in the country.

In a video briefing to the Security Council, Griffiths confirmed that the fighting continues despite the outbreak of the new Corona virus.Griffiths added, “We are redoubling efforts with the parties to reach consensus” on the proposals put forward Friday to cease-fire and relaunch the political dialogue.But the UN envoy, often described by diplomats on the council as “optimistic,” acknowledged that there were fears of continued fighting until agreement was reached on UN proposals.

He said that the city of Marib, east of the capital, Sanaa, “remains the focus of the war,” noting that violations of the ceasefire announced at the beginning of 2019 in the Al-Hodeidah region (west of Yemen) “continue daily.”For the sixth year, Yemen has witnessed continuous fighting between government forces, and the Iranian-backed Houthi group controlling Yemeni provinces, including the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.

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