Saudi Warplanes Continue to Bomb Yemen

Saudi Warplanes Continue to Bomb Yemen
Saudi Warplanes Continue to Bomb Yemen

Saudi-led coalition bombarded Yemen at dawn Sunday, witnesses said, in a new blow to a UN-proposed truce in the impoverished country where millions are threatened with famine.

Airstrikes targeted Saada in Yemen’s north, as well as positions south of the capital Sana’a and in the southern province of Lahj, residents said, France24 reported.

The UN-proposed humanitarian truce technically went into effect at 2059 GMT on Friday and is supposed to run until July 17, the last day of the holy month of Ramadan.

But the ceasefire, much needed to rush food supplies to a population threatened by famine, has been flouted by strikes conducted by a Saudi-led alliance of Arab countries as well as fighting on the ground.

The ceasefire was declared after UN chief Ban Ki-moon received assurances from fugitive Yemeni president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthis that it would be respected. The coalition said it had not received a formal request from Hadi’s government to observe a truce, while the Houthis said before the ceasefire went into effect they had little hope it would succeed.

More than a week ago, the UN declared Yemen a level-3 humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, with nearly half the country facing a food crisis.

More than 21.1 million people, over 80% of Yemen’s population, need aid, with 13 million facing food shortages, while access to water has become difficult for 9.4 million people. The UN says the conflict has killed more than 3,200 people, about half of them civilians, since the Arab alliance began bombing Yemen in late March.