Published December 11, 2015
Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen said Sunday they would accept a five-day humanitarian cease-fire to allow aid to reach civilians after more than a month of daily Saudi-led airstrikes.
The cease-fire is expected to begin Tuesday and hopes to ease the suffering of civilians in the Arab world’s poorest country who increasingly lack food, fuel and medicine since the bombing campaign began March 26.
However, all sides in a conflict that’s seen the exile of Saudi and Western-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have warned they will retaliate if the cease-fire is broken.
State news agency SABA quoted Col. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman Sunday as saying rebels in the armed forces agreed with the cease-fire, warning against any violation against the truce. The Houthis earlier issed their own statement saying they will cooperate with the cease-fire.
Saturday, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Asiri, the Saudi-led coalition's spokesman, also warned that the cease-fire will be cancelled if the rebels violated it.
Meanwhile, Saudi-led strikes have continued in Yemen, with a residence of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital, Sanaa, reportedly hit. Social media accounts later posted pictures of what appeared to be Saleh speaking in front of his ruined home after the strike.
Saleh and his forces back the Houthis, who are also backed by Iran.
The raging conflict in Yemen has killed over 1,400 people -- many of them civilians -- since March 19, according to the United Nations.
The Houthis also said in a statement that the coalition naval blockade prevented merchant ships carrying food from docking in the port of Hodeida.
Medical officials said some 70 wounded were evacuated from Aden onto a ship where they will be treated, with some severe cases being brought to Saudi Arabia. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to brief journalists.
Also Sunday, the Saudi national press agency said that a contingent of Malaysian forces had arrived at Saudi air bases, making it the 12th country to join the coalition. It did not give details on the size of the detachment, and Malaysian officials were not immediately available for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report