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article imageSaudis refuse ceasefire attack Yemen port of Hodeidah

By Ken Hanly     Sep 22, 2019 in Politics
While Yemen's Houthis who control much of the north of the country have declared a ceasefire in the war with the Saudis, the Saudis have not reciprocated and have launched attacks notably around the area of the strategic port of Hodeidah.
Earlier truce agreed in Hodeidah
Hodeidah is key to entry of medical and other humanitarian supplies into Yemen and an earlier truce was agreed to with respect to the port. 70 percent of food supplies come through the port. The Saudis are clearly showing that they are not interested in any present truce agreement, The Houthis have claimed responsibility for successful drone and missile attacks on Saudi infrastructure. The Saudis and the US blame Iran for the attacks. The Houthis warned that the Saudi action represents a serious escalation of the war.
Saudis claim the area is a threat to shipping
The Saudis claim the sites attacked are a threat to maritime security in the crucial shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb and the southern Red Sea. A recent article reports: "Defending the attacks, the Saudi coalition spokesman, Turki Al-Malik, said: “The coalition’s naval forces detected an attempt by the terrorist Houthi militia backed by Iran to carry out an imminent act of aggression and terrorism in the southern Red Sea using an unmanned, rigged boat ... launched from Hodeidah province.”
Some Gulf states including the UAE have formed a coalition to defeat the Houthis who control most of northern Yemen and restore the previous government of Mansur Hadi. Hadi lives in exile in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis are supported by Iran.
Houthis unilaterally announced a peace initiative
The Houthis decided to try to stop the fighting.
The unilateral ceasefire was announced last Friday: "Mehdi al-Mashat, head of the Huthis' supreme political council, announced in a speech marking the 2014 rebel seizure of Sanaa "the halt of all attacks against the territory of Saudi Arabia". He added that he hoped "the gesture would be answered by a stronger gesture" from the Saudis, according to the rebels' Al-Masirah television channel. Pursuing war is not in anyone's interest."
Houthis warn of more fighting if peace offer rejected
The Houthis warned of more fighting if their peace move is not accepted: "Mashat said that the Houthis "would not hesitate to launch a period of great pain" if their call for peace was ignored. In the speech, Mashat boasted of the group's rapidly improved military capabilities and said "significant advancement" would be seen in the coming period, particularly in air and missile defense."
The Houthis also warned they had chosen dozens of sites in the UAE, Saudi's coalition partner in the war, as possible targets in the war. In the region many see the fighting as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The conflict has killed tens of thousands displaced many and left millions on the brink of starvation. There have also been conflicts between the UAE and Yemen separatists with Saudi forces in the south.
More about Yemen War, Hodeidah, Saudi arabia
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