Date
16 January 2017
A gunman walks amid the debris after Ali Abdullah Saleh's compound was bombed Sunday. Photo: AFP
A gunman walks amid the debris after Ali Abdullah Saleh's compound was bombed Sunday. Photo: AFP

Huothis agree to 5-day truce as Saudis step up bombing

Houthi rebels have agreed to a five-day ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia that would allow humanitarian relief supplies to be delivered to Yemen, a statement carried by a Houthi news agency said.

But even as the Houthis accepted the limited truce Sunday, the Saudi-led military coalition bombed the residential compound of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former president and the Houthis’ most important ally in the war, The New York Times reported.

The residence, in Sana, the Yemeni capital, was struck at least seven times early Sunday, witnesses said.

Saleh, who survived, made a defiant statement on television afterward, standing amid the rubble of his compound.

The ceasefire is to begin at 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Since proposing a halt in the hostilities last week, the Saudi-led coalition has escalated its bombing campaign, apparently trying to inflict as much damage as possible on the Houthis and their allies before any pause in the conflict.

 

The airstrikes on Saleh’s residence and in the northern province of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, also seemed to reflect the Saudi-led coalition’s desire to claim a military victory — perhaps by killing pro-Houthi leaders — after a six-week campaign that analysts say has failed to meet most of its stated goals.

More than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since March, when Saudi Arabia began the aerial assault against the Houthis, a mostly Shiite movement from northern Yemen that had taken control of Sana and forced the government from power.

After his television appearance, warplanes bombed Saleh’s compound again.

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