The Houthi rebels have stated that rocket and drone attacks in the devastating civil war are temporary and want a ceasefire. If the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia is prepared for peace, so are the insurgents, wrote Mohammed al-Huthi, leader of the Revolutionary Revolutionary Committee on Twitter. The suspended attacks are an act of goodwill and should deprive the enemy of any excuse not to hold peace talks and continue their „siege“ of the Yemen.
The Houthis announcement comes just days after UN mediator Martin Griffiths announced new peace talks between the conflicting parties to the UN Security Council in New York. These should be „soon,“ Griffiths said, without giving a date. In addition, government and rebels had agreed on the exchange of prisoners. Only in September had political talks between the opponents failed because the Houthis did not appear for the meeting.
In Yemen, the exiled government is fighting under the internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who control large parts of the north including the capital Sana’a. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia is at the head of a coalition of Arab states against the militias and is bombarding the country from the air. More than 10,000 people were killed, over two million were displaced. The United Nations describes the conflict as the gravest humanitarian crisis of the present.
The Saudi Arabian alliance in Yemen was supported by Western states with arms deliveries and intelligence information. But most recently, allies like the US called for an end to the fighting. After the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in early October, international pressure on the kingdom is growing.