Yemen’s Houthis suspend strikes on Saudi Arabia for three days

Saudi Arabia retaliated to Friday’s attacks by launching air strikes against Sanaa, Hodeida and destroying four explosives-laden boats.


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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Sun 27 Mar 2022, 7:14 AM

Yemen’s Houthi rebels announced a three-day truce with the Saudi-led coalition and dangled the prospect of a “permanent” ceasefire on Saturday.

A day after a wave of Houthi drone and missile attacks on Saudi targets, including an oil plant that turned into an inferno, political leader Mahdi Al Mashat put rebel operations on hold.

As thousands of people marched in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, to mark the anniversary, Mashat appeared on TV to announce the “suspension of missile and drone strikes and all military actions for a period of three days”.

“And we are ready to turn this declaration into a final and permanent commitment in the event that Saudi Arabia commits to ending the siege and stopping its raids on Yemen once and for all,” he said.

There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia, which retaliated to Friday’s attacks by launching air strikes against Sanaa and Hodeida and destroying four explosives-laden boats.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, directly or indirectly, and millions have been displaced.

Mashat said the Houthis are ready to “release all coalition prisoners, including (president Abdrabbuh Mansur) Hadi’s brother, militia prisoners and other nationalities in exchange for the full release of all our prisoners”.

“And then peace will come and then it will be time to talk about political solutions in a calm atmosphere away from any military or humanitarian pressure.”


The Iran-backed rebels’ surprise move came exactly seven years after the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention to support Yemen’s government, after the Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014.

After months of negotiations, Iran is near to reviving a stalled deal with international partners where it will curb its nuclear ambitions in return for an easing of sanctions.

The coalition’s intervention has stopped the Houthis’ advances in the south and east of the country but has been unable to push them out of the north, including the capital Sanaa.

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