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Saudi-led coalition says halted airstrikes to push for peace efforts

Republican Yemen

The Saudi-led fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen said Thursday it stopped launching air raids on Houthi military targets to pave the way for peace efforts aimed at ending the six-year war.

The Saudi state media published a statement made by the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition affirming that the Saudi-led coalition has halted attacks on the Houthi militia to facilitate a peaceful settlement in war-torn Yemen.

The statement, which came amid intensified diplomatic efforts for a nationwide ceasefire, followed media reports of an attack on an armoured division belonging to the Iran-aligned Houthis near the Yemeni capital.

The spokesperson, Turki al-Maliki, denied the reports, asserting that “no military operation has been carried out in the vicinity of Sanaa or any other Yemeni cities over the past period (..) with the aim of preparing the political ground for a peace process.”

Sources familiar with the matter said yesterday that the warring parties have agreed to reopen Sana’a airport as a result of ongoing diplomatic efforts mainly led by the US, the UN, and Oman.

In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen after the Houthi militia stormed Yemen’s capital Sana’a and ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who called on Arab states to step in and help restore the state.

Since then, Yemen has been beset by a devastating war that triggered what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in recent history.

Writing by Sami Almaqtari

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