Saudi general says coalition not bound by UN truce in Yemen

Humanitarian truce deal declared by UN for Yemen does not bind Saudi-led coalition, says spokesman

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition Saudi Brigadier Gen Ahmed Asiri said that the coalition is not bound by to the truce declared by the United Nations (UN) claiming the Shiite forces known as Houthis do not commit it.

Asiri said on Saturday that coalition is not interested in a unilateral truce, calling it “counterproductive.”

His remarks on the website of the semi-official Saudi newspaper al Riyadh, cast  doubt over the truce agreement.

The UN had announced on Thursday an “unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Yemen to begin on Friday midnight and last until the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

However, both Houthis and Saudi Arabia blamed each other for violating it since early Saturday.

The spokesman called for UN observes to monitor for violations.

Saudi-led air strikes, targeting the Iranian-backed Houthis since March, have killed more than 3,000 people in the conflict-torn Yemen so far.

The UN declared on Tuesday that there were at least 1,528 civilians among the 3,000 dead.

The conflict has caused displacement of another 1 million Yemeni civilians since the air war began.

Nearly half of the country's regions have been facing a food crisis and more than 80 percent of Yemen’s population has been in need of humanitarian aid, with 13 million facing food shortages.

The truce was aimed to allow charities to deliver aid to the 21 million people who are in need of humanitarian aid.

According to the UN, 9.4 million people have been suffering a lack of water.  

The Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014, driving the president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi out of Yemen to the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies started an aerial operation, dubbed “Decisive Storm” on March 26 to halt the Houthi advancement from Sanaa to Aden as they justified their involvement with the claim of “defending the legitimate government” of Hadi.

TRTWorld and agencies