Ansar Allah group (the Houthis) in Yemen launched new attacks on the Kingdom with drones, on the fifth anniversary of the ongoing war in Yemen.
The Saudi coalition announced the interception and destruction of drones launched by the Houthis towards the Kingdom in an escalation threatening to torpedo the efforts led by the United Nations for an “urgent meeting” to discuss the ceasefire.
The official news agency (SPA) quoted a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, as saying that the coalition had intercepted and shot down planes launched by the Houthi movement in Yemen against civilian targets in the cities of Abha and Khamis Mushayt.
For his part, Houthi forces spokesman, Yahya Sari, said that his forces responded to an attack by coalition aircraft in the airspace of Marib Governorate.
The developments come hours after a statement by the UN envoy, Martin Griffiths, in which he announced his happiness with “positive responses” from the Yemeni government and the Houthis, to the call of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, regarding the ceasefire.
In his recent statement, Griffiths called on the Yemeni parties to hold an urgent meeting, to discuss ways to translate their commitments to stop the hostilities into reality.
And unlike all previous occasions and international calls that did not find listening ears during five years of the war, it seemed that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) would succeed in defusing the war.
The Saudi coalition prompted the legitimate government to welcome the call for a ceasefire launched by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN envoy Martin Griffiths, after which he announced hours of “support for and support for the legitimacy decision” in accepting the international call.
Not only did the coalition support the government decision, but its leadership, through the spokesman of Turki Al-Maliki, confirmed its direct support to the United Nations efforts to “cease-fire, reduce escalation, take practical steps to build confidence between the two parties in the humanitarian and economic aspects, alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and work hard to confront the dangers Corona pandemic, preventing it from spreading.
The coalition response came as tacit approval of all the conditions set by the Houthi group, on Tuesday evening, in a video interview that brought together the leader Mohammed Ali Al Houthi with the UN envoy to Yemen, in which he presented 5 conditions for entering into a peace process.
The Houthis also hastened to welcome the position of the Saudi-Emirati coalition, by a tweet to Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi himself on Twitter, saying: “The coalition’s declaration of accepting the ceasefire, reducing escalation, and taking practical steps to build confidence between the two parties in the humanitarian and economic aspects is welcome. we are waiting for its translation into practice.”
This comes as an American newspaper revealed Washington’s intention to reduce its humanitarian aid to Yemen, coinciding with the passage of 5 years since the outbreak of war in the country.
The Washington Post said that the administration of President Donald Trump will press ahead with plans to cut a large portion of humanitarian aid to Yemen, starting Friday.
She added – quoting officials – that this step aims to push the Houthis to lift restrictions that have made it difficult for relief agencies to operate in militia-controlled areas.
She said that although the Houthis retreated from some restrictions, such as imposing a 2% tax on all aid, other restrictions remain in effect, such as the delay in granting travel permits.
The newspaper quoted a spokesman for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that the cuts in aid would occur only in Houthi-controlled areas.
She added that aid workers are warning that cuts in aid could be disastrous, amid fears of an outbreak of the coronavirus in Yemen.
It is reported that the United States provided more than $740 million last year for humanitarian operations in Yemen.