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Yemeni rebels back out of peace talks at last moment

U.S. News

Yemen's Shiite rebels backed out of U.N.-brokered peace talks just hours before the negotiations were to start Monday in Kuwait, demanding an immediate halt to airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition that has waged a year-long war against them, officials said. It was not immediately clear if the negotiations were completely scuttled. According to two media officials linked to the Shiite rebels known as Houthis, rebel representatives have delayed their trip to Kuwait. The rebel delegation would not go unless there is a "full halt to the airstrikes" by the Saudi-led coalition, the two officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. A statement issued Monday afternoon on behalf of the U.N. envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, described the Kuwait talks as "delayed" and gave no details on when they might resume.


Yemen's rebels reverse course, decide to attend peace talks

U.S. News

A senior leader of Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels has said the Iranian-backed movement has reversed course and would participate in U.N.-sponsored talks designed to end the war in the impoverished Arab nation. Houthi representations would leave for Kuwait, the talks' venue, later Wednesday, he said. In a statement issued late Tuesday, senior Houthi leader Mahdi al-Mashat said the movement has received assurances from Kuwait and neighboring Oman that there will be an end to violations of a weeklong cease-fire in Yemen by airstrikes launched by a Saudi-led coalition. "We reserve the right to suspend our participation if the promises are not kept," said al-Mashat, who will head the Houth delegation. "The forces of aggression then will have to assume full responsibility for the consequences of their failure to honor their commitments."


Saudi officials announce Yemen cease-fire amid pandemic

The Japan Times

CAIRO – The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years. In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia's official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the cease-fire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said the ceasefire could be extended to pave the way for all the parties "to discuss proposals, steps, and mechanisms for sustainable ceasefire in Yemen … for a comprehensive political solution in Yemen." There was no immediate reaction from Houthi leaders or Yemen's internationally recognized government to the coalition's statement. Within hours of the announcement, residents in the contested Yemeni province Marib said a suspected Houthi missile struck a security building in the city center.


Sporadic fighting mars first day of cease-fire in Yemen

Associated Press

A U.N.-brokered cease-fire was mostly holding across war-torn Yemen on Monday except in the besieged city of Taiz where shelling killed at least one person and wounded five, according to residents. There were also sporadic exchanges of gunfire in other parts of the country after the truce between the Saudi-led coalition, which backs Yemen's internationally recognized government, and the Shiite rebels known as Houthis went into effect at midnight Sunday. Residents of Taiz, which has been besieged by the rebels for over a year, are blaming the Houthis for the overnight random shelling that killed one civilian and wounded four. But in the district of Naham, on the fringes of Sanaa province, fighting continued overnight between armed men backing the government and the Houthis, according to residents there.


Sporadic fighting mars first day of cease-fire in Yemen

FOX News

SANAA, Yemen – A U.N.-brokered cease-fire was mostly holding across war-torn Yemen on Monday except in the besieged city of Taiz where shelling killed at least one person and wounded five, according to residents. There were also sporadic exchanges of gunfire in other parts of the country after the truce between the Saudi-led coalition, which backs Yemen's internationally recognized government, and the Shiite rebels known as Houthis went into effect at midnight Sunday. In the capital, Sanaa, which has been under the Houthis' control since September 2014, the coalition largely halted its airstrikes. But in the district of Naham, on the fringes of Sanaa province, fighting continued overnight between armed men backing the government and the Houthis, according to residents there. The residents in both in Taiz and in Naham spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.