Airstrikes begin as ceasefire expires in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen, Airstrikes began anew in Yemen shortly after a 72-hour ceasefire expired. No casualties have been reported so far from the bombings, which rocked the rebel-held capital of Sanaa.

Airstrikes began anew in Yemen just hours after a ceasefire there expired, despite pleas from United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Photo from Ismail Ould Chekh/Twitter

The airstrikes targeted military rebel facilities in the northern and eastern parts of the city, Sky News reported.
The bombings began again despite pleas for an extension from the U.N. envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

 “The ceasefire was largely holding despite reported violations from both sides in several areas,” the special envoy said. “We noted over the last days that food and humanitarian supplies were provided to several affected neighborhoods and that U.N. personnel were able to reach areas that were previously inaccessible. We would like to build on this and we aim for a wider outreach in the next few days.”

Neither the Saudi Arabia-backed Yemeni government nor the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels showed any signs of wanting to extend the truce, repeatedly accusing each other of violating the ceasefire that went in to effect at midnight Wednesday. It was just the latest in a series of ceasefires that eventually failed in the impoverished nation.

The war has been going on for two years now, with Yemen dealing with a power struggle between Saudi-backed President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the rebels.

The battles have been escalating since March 2015 when Sunni and Saudi partner countries began the airstrikes on the mostly Shiite rebels in Yemen.

The conflict rose out of Saudi fears that the rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, an entrance way to the Arabian Peninsula.

By Yvette C. Hammett