Yemen ceasefire ends with heavy fighting breaking out

Yemen ceasefire ends with heavy fighting breaking out
2 min read
21 November, 2016
Full-scale war is likely to resume in Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition said it would not extend a ceasefire in the country due to ongoing 'violations' by Houthi forces.
The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Houthi rebels since March 2015 [AFP]

The Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government has said a 48-hour ceasefire which ended at midday (0900 GMT) on Monday will not be extended due to repeated "violations" by Houthi rebel forces.

"There is no respect (for the truce), only violations," coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri told AFP.

He added that there were "no orders to extend the ceasefire".

"There have been more people killed in (the southwestern city of) Taiz and more attacks with surface-to-surface missiles, so automatically the conditions are not there", he said in regards to the truce.

Yemen's ceasefire began on Saturday following an intervention by US Secretary of State John Kerry who met rebel representatives in Oman and urged the government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to sign up to the truce.

The coalition had threatened not to extend the ceasefire if rebels failed to abide by the deal and allow aid deliveries to besieged cities.

Earlier on Monday, pro-Hadi forces attacked Houthi rebels and their allies on the western outskirts of Taiz, military officials said.

At least 15 rebels and nine loyalist troops were killed in the offensive, which targeted an air defence base, the officials said, while witnesses reported loud explosions.

A spokesman for renegade Yemeni troops allied with the rebels accused the other side of forces more than 100 violations of the ceasefire.

Coalition warplanes have also hit rebel positions in Nahm, north of rebel-held capital Sanaa, and in the Houthi's heartland in Saada province, witnesses said.

Warplanes from the coalition also conducted numerous sorties over Sanaa early on Monday.  

Elsewhere, pro-Hadi forces said they repelled a rebel attack on their positions in Sarwah, in Marib province, east of the capital.

Yemen's devastating conflict erupted in 2014 when the rebels overran Sanaa and other parts of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

The UN said that more than 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 37,000 wounded in Yemen since March 2015, when the coalition intervened on behalf of the government after insurgents expanded their control and forced Hadi into exile.

Agencies contributed to this report.