Yemen’s Ousted President Launches Military Operation in Sana’a

Yemen’s Ousted President Launches  Military Operation in Sana’aYemen’s Ousted President Launches  Military Operation in Sana’a

Forces loyal to the ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi launched a new offensive east of the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Saturday, the military command said, after United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait ended without an agreement.

The offensive, which is backed by airstrikes from a Saudi-led coalition, came as the Houthis and the party of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh announced a 10-member governing council, against the wishes of the UN, Reuters reported

The Houthis and Saleh’s General People’s Congress, hold most of Yemen’s northern half, while forces loyal to Hadi share control of the rest of the country with local tribes.

The fighting in which more than 6,400 people have been killed, half of them civilians, has created a humanitarian crisis in one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

Al-Qaeda and its militant rival the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group have exploited the war to try to recruit more followers and establish roots in the country, which controls major shipping lanes overlooking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The pro-Hadi news agency said the Yemeni Army and allied local tribesmen, backed by Arab coalition’s airstrikes, began a major operation to “liberate the district of Nehem east of Sana’a”. The area is a key route to the capital, which has been under Houthi control since 2014.

Fighting was also reported on the Yemeni-Saudi border, where a Saudi border guard was killed by fire directed from the Yemeni side, the Saudi state news agency SPA said, citing a security spokesman.

The UN special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced that talks in Kuwait had been adjourned, promising they would resume at an unspecified venue within a month.

“We will leave Kuwait today, but peace consultations will continue. We will let the parties consult their leaders,” he told a news conference.

Earlier in Sana’a, the Houthi-run news agency published the names of 10 officials it said would be on a political committee to run the country. The parties would rotate the position of president and vice president, who would be chosen from within the committee, the statement said.