Sunday, December 23, 2018

Saudis Step Up Attacks, Violate Hudaydah Truce 223 Times: Yemen Army
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:05AM

A man stands amidst the rubble at a factory damaged during Saudi airstrikes in Hudaydah, Yemen, December 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Yemen's army, which alongside the Houthi movement has been defending the country, says Saudi Arabia has increased its attacks in breach of a UN-brokered truce in the port city of Hudaydah.

Army spokesman Brigadier Yahya Sariyah told al-Masirah TV that the Saudis have violated the Hudaydah ceasefire 223 times since December 17, when the truce took effect.

The ceasefire violations included 51 missile attacks, 155 cases of artillery fire and shelling as well as infiltration attempts, he added.

Saudi warplanes, Sariyah said, continue to fly intensely over Hudaydah. Over the past 48 hours, they have conducted 42 air raids on the provinces of Sa'ada, al-Jawf and Ma'rib.

Yemeni fighters, meanwhile, have clashed with Saudi mercenaries, killing and injuring dozens of them.

The Hudaydah truce was reached recently in Sweden during peace talks between delegations from the Houthis and Yemen's former Saudi-allied regime.

The warring sides agreed to the withdrawal of their forces and the deployment of UN monitors to the port, the entry point for most of Yemen’s commercial goods and vital aid.

UN monitors arrived in Yemen on Saturday to oversee the fragile truce.

On Sunday, retired Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert, who heads the UN team, arrived in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital, Sana'a, before heading to Hudaydah.

Separately on Sunday, the Yemeni air defense shot down a drone belonging to the Saudi-led coalition.

The CH4-type drone was brought down in Sa'ada by a surface-to-air missile, said the Yemeni army spokesman.

The Chinese-made advanced drone has the capability to carry a variety of munitions, such as four AR-1 missiles at a height of 7,200 meters.

Hudaydah has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched the Hudaydah offensive in June but have been facing strong resistance from Yemeni armed forces — led by the Houthis — as well as the city’s residents.

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