GCC FMs back ‘roadmap for peace’ in Yemen
Fierce fighting broke out on Friday on the outskirts of Yemen’s central city of Marib after the Iran-backed Houthis mounted a new attack on government forces defending the strategic location.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry said that army troops and allied tribesmen were fending off a major Houthi assault at flashpoint sites in Juba district, south of Marib.
The attack has been described as the biggest since April 2, the first day of a two-month truce brokered by the UN, reports Arab News.
Yemen’s government has accused the Houthis of exploiting the ceasefire and absence of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen warplanes by mobilizing new forces and military equipment including tanks, artillery, and BMP infantry fighting vehicles.
The army said that the Houthis had committed at least 100 violations of the truce in contested areas in Hodeidah, Jouf, Taiz, Saada, Hajjah, and Marib. The Houthis accused the Yemeni government of attacking their forces in Marib on Friday.
Energy-rich Marib has seen the bloodiest and most aggressive fighting in the war since earlier last year when the Houthis resumed an offensive to control the city.
Thousands of combatants and civilians have been killed outside the city and the group rejected calls to end its attacks that have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Under the terms of the longest truce since the beginning of the conflict, warring factions in Yemen were to halt hostilities on all fronts in addition to stopping cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Sanaa airport would open for two flights to Egypt and Jordan each week, and 18 fuel ships would be allowed to enter the western port of Hodeidah.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers from Gulf Cooperation Council member states has backed latest efforts to end the war in Yemen which they described as offering fresh hope of “a roadmap for peace.”
During the 151st session of the council, held in Riyadh, delegates also welcomed moves from the newly formed Yemeni presidential council to start negotiations with the Iran-backed Houthis, reports Arab News.