Saudi-led airstrikes don't slow in Yemen ahead of cease-fire

2015-05-12 18:14
(Hani Mohammed, AP)

(Hani Mohammed, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sana'a - Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition kept up their airstrikes in Yemen on Tuesday, targeting the positions of Shi'ite rebels and their allies just hours ahead of the scheduled start of a five-day humanitarian cease-fire.

The strikes stopped shortly before the new United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, flew into the capital, Sana'a, on his first official visit to the country. He told reporters he planned to meet with various parties, including the rebels known as Houthis, and ensure that the cease-fire holds.

"We will discuss the humanitarian truce and the Yemeni parties' return to the negotiating table," he said.

Security officials said airstrikes overnight, at dawn and during the morning hours targeted weapons depots and other military facilities north and south of Sana'a, a sprawling city of some 4 million people. The military air base that is part of the capital's international airport also was targeted.

Ten strikes hit Sana'a from dawn until about noon on Tuesday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to journalists.

Fierce fighting also raged on Tuesday in Taiz between the rebels and forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, officials said. The rebels and their allies also shelled residential areas in the strategic city southwest of Sana'a, with one shell hitting a bus, killing nine people and wounding 40, officials said. An airstrike targeted the city's al-Qahira castle, from which the shelling came, they said.

The cease-fire, scheduled to begin at 23:00, is meant to help ease the suffering of civilians in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country.

The conflict has killed over 1 400 people - many of them civilians - since March 19, according to the UN. The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led naval, air and land blockade.

Anticipating the truce, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said it plans to airlift 300 metric tons of sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting from stockpiles in Dubai.

The airlift, it said, was part of what it called a "larger aid mobilisation underway for a quarter of a million people". The agency also will attempt to distribute aid already stored in Yemen and assess the needs for areas that have been difficult to reach.

Read more on:    yemen

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.