Yemen's vice president has called for an end to the conflict in his war-torn country, urging Shiite rebels and allied forces to halt their offensive on the southern port city of Aden.

Khaled Bahah says this would be a good-will gesture that could open the door to peace initiatives.

Ground fighting has been fiercest in Aden where rebels known as Houthis and allied military units are trying to take control of the city.

Bahah spoke Thursday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he and President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have been based after the government collapsed in the face of the rebel power grab.

As the rebels attacked Aden, Hadi fled. A Saudi-led coalition launched a campaign of airstrikes targeting the rebels.

The campaign is now in its fourth week.