Aden, Riyadh-A new ceasefire announced by the U.N. for 72 hours went into effect in Yemen just before midnight Wednesday but remains a test for both warring parties, particularly with rebels’ record in breaching all previous truces.
The command of the Arab Coalition forces to support the legitimacy in Yemen said in a statement issued Wednesday that a three-day ceasefire has kicked off in Yemen in response to a request made by Yemeni President Abed Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in a letter addressed to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
In his letter, Hadi informed the King that international and regional efforts exerted between the U.N., Hadi and the coalition have led to an agreement on a ceasefire for 72 hours.
Hadi said the most important part of this agreement is the adherence of the Houthis and their allies to the ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to enter areas under siege, especially in the city of Taiz.
“We don’t expect from them [Houthis] anything more than prevarication and procrastination,” Hadi said on Wednesday after meeting with the U.S. and British ambassadors to Yemen.
On the eve of the ceasefire, Yemeni Field Commander in the Sa’ada province Mehran Qubati told Asharq Al-Awsat that the National Army and the Popular Resistance have completely controlled the city of Boqe’e, the Brigade headquarters 101 Mika, the old customs building, and the passport building after pushing Houthi militia forces and their allies outside the area.
Qubati said that in the headquarter of Brigade 101 Mika, Yemeni forces have discovered a large amount of weapons including Russian surface-to-air missiles (SAM) left by rebels who fled the area.
The commander said a number of insurgent leaders were killed inthe latest battles, including Houthi media figures.
“We have traced on our communication devices a dispute between Houthi fighters and their commanders, who had fled the Boqe’e area leaving the units to face their fate alone,” Qubati said.
The Yemeni army has also made several gains on other fronts, including Ma’rib, Nihm and al-Bayda.
Military analyst General Naji Abbas Naji said that the military operation achieved by the Resistance and the National Army by completely controlling the Wadia exit and by advancing in the direction of the northern Sa’ada area is considered an important military achievement.
But hours before the ceasefire came into effect, Houthi militias and their allies escalated their attacks on National Army positions particularly in the residential neighborhoods of Taiz, leaving several people killed and injured.
Meanwhile, the military council of the Popular Resistance of Taiz issued a statement on Wednesday calling on all the legitimate authorities to be quick in aiding injured civilians who need urgent treatment outside the country.
The council also said Houthi militias were in a weak position which requires the National Army and the Popular Resistance to be quick in their attack without looking at any calls for settlement. “Previous experiences have proved militias would dodge any solutions,” the council said.