The head of U.N. operations in Yemen says a resumption of peace talks is "inevitable" and that he expects behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to bring results in the coming weeks despite continued fighting in the country.

Paolo Lembo, the U.N's resident coordinator in Yemen, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he expects to see "a conference that will bring most of the parties to the table."

He says all sides "are aware that there is no other solution" than a political settlement, but that fighting will likely continue for some time.

Shiite rebels pressed their offensive in the country's south Thursday as a Saudi-led coalition bombarded them from the air.

Lembo says Yemen has been hit by more than 4,000 air strikes over the past month.