Renewed air strikes on Yemen after peace talks fail

Fresh Arab air strikes on several cities after UN brokered peace talks collapse

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen continued targeting sites belonging to the Iranian backed Houthis and the Yemeni army forces allied with them with air strikes, after peace talks sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva reached a dead end and failed to coin an agreement for a cease-fire in Yemen.

Twenty-five people were killed during raids by the coalition led on several areas in Yemen on Friday, according to Houthi sources.

Reuters quoted residents in Sanaa as saying that they heard the bombing of three air raids on the camp of Suda, south of Sanaa, where the headquarters of the Republican Guard forces allied with the Houthis is located.

The Saudi led coalition reportedly raided the area of Khawlan southeast of Sanaa, and also conducted another six air raids on the 115 Brigade camp in al Jawf province as well as three sites on the outskirts of the city of Aden in southern Yemen.

The attacks came just hours after the end of failed peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva, sponsored by the UN in an attempt to reach a cease-fire in Yemen.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin cast the responsibility for the failure to reach an agreement on the Houthi rebels, in an interview with the BBC.

Yassin said that efforts would continue to find a political solution to the conflict, but did not specify the date of the start of a new round of talks.

The chief of a the delegation of the rebels and their allies, Hamza al Houthi, blamed Saudi Arabia for the failure to reach an agreement.

"We cannot say that the Geneva conference failed, but it was a first step, however there were acts of obstruction of clear and systematic targeting,” said Hamza al Houthi.

The Yemeni government, headed by Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has demanded the withdrawal of the Houthi rebels from most areas of Yemen that they control since September. It also expressed concern over the number of representatives in the Houthi delegation to Geneva, which was double the agreed upon number.

UN envoy to Yemen Ismail, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said "we have seen in the talks positive discourse from all parties and we are sure that it is possible to build on this positive spirit in the future."

Cheikh Ahmed said "there was not any form of agreement because the positions of the parties remained far apart with respect to the original agreement ... But we got suggestions from all parties, we can build upon in the coming days to reach a final agreement."

Ahmad noted that he will leave Geneva on his way to New York to report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and to brief the Security Council over what was discussed in the talks, Members of the Security Council must approve the plans for the deployment of civilian observers on the ground in Yemen in the event of a deal.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby previously called the Yemeni peace talks in Geneva useful, expecting them to be the start a long process.

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 2,600 people since the Saudi-led coalition began air raids in the country on March 25.

TRTWorld and agencies