Arab coalition declares 48-hour Yemen truce

OIC to refer Houthi attack on Makkah to UN

Riyadh—A Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s government against Iran-backed rebels declared a 48-hour ceasefire to begin in Yemen Saturday, it said in a statement on the kingdom’s SPA news agency website.
“It has been decided to begin a 48-hour ceasefire from 12:00 noon in Yemen’s timing (0900 GMT) on Saturday,” the coalition statement said, adding that the truce could be renewed if the Houthi rebels and their allies abide by the deal and allow aid deliveries to besieged cities.
The coalition announcement followed a request for a ceasefire by Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to Saudi King Salman, the statement said.
“Coalition forces will abide by the ceasefire”, it said, but warned that should the rebels or troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh make any military moves in the area the coalition would respond.
The naval and air “blockade” will also remain in place and surveillance jets will continue to fly over Yemen, it added.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States have agreed to refer the case of Houthis’ attack against holy sites in Makkah to the United Nations, Saudi media reported.
During an emergency meeting held in Makkah, fifty-one representatives of Islamic states have decided to address a letter to the United Nations on behalf of OIC’s executive committee, Al Arabiya said in a report.
They pointed out in their final statement, which was issued the day after the emergency meeting, held in Makkah, pursuant to the recommendation of the Executive Committee of holding an emergency meeting, at the ministerial level, to discuss the launch of a militia al-Houthi a ballistic missile toward Makkah. The meeting condemned vicious attack by the al-Houthi and Saleh militiamen, who fired “ballistic missile towards the direction of Muslims and cradle of revelation on Thursday evening, 27th of October 2016.”
The Arab coalition said in an earlier statement that the missile was downed 65 km from Makkah, with coalition jet fighters destroying the rocket launchers in Saada.— Agencies

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