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Saudi officials announced Wednesday a two-week cease-fire against the Houthi rebels in Yemen starting Thursday after the United Nations called for an end to the violence amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal will halt all air, ground and naval hostilities and could pave the way for more long-term talks to end the nearly five-year-long war that has resulted in a humanitarian crisis for millions of people and left more than 100,000 people dead, according to reports by Reuters.
The U.N.'s suggestion comes as Saudi Arabia grapples with 2,932 cases of coronavirus and 41 deaths. Yemen is one of the few countries that has not reported any cases of COVID-19, but officials worry that the ravaged country could be in serious peril if they are struck by an outbreak of the virus.
Congress has tried to suspend the United States' support to the Saudi coalition, but to no avail, as the group continues to bombard Houthi forces, which are supported by Iran.
Violence as a result of the proxy war seemed to ebb in Yemen after the two groups engaged in back-channel talks late last year but chances of a peace deal were disrupted by recent spurts of bombings in the region.