5 Women Killed As Blast Hits Yemen Wedding Hall

Site of the blast which falls under the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate limits left locals wondering what led to the massive blast.

 

Five women were killed in war-torn Yemen when a projectile exploded at a wedding held on New Year’s Day in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, officials said Saturday.

The government and Huthi rebel forces blamed each other for the Friday night bombing of the hall near Hodeida’s airport, a frontline between the warring sides on the edge of the Huthi-held town.

It came just two days after at least 26 people were killed in blasts that rocked the airport of the southern city of Aden as government ministers got off a plane.

General Sadek Douid, the government representative in a UN-sponsored joint commission overseeing a truce, condemned the Hodeida blast, which also left seven wounded, as “an odious crime committed by the Huthis against civilians”.

Hodeida’s Huthi-appointed governor, Mohammed Ayache, said on Al-Masirah television, which is run by the Shiite Muslim rebels, that “the forces of aggression never hesitate to blame others for their crimes”.

Saudi-backed government forces launched an offensive in June 2018 to retake Hodeida, the main entry point for humanitarian aid to poverty-stricken Yemen.

But a ceasefire has been partially observed since December of the same year.

UN Says Half Of Its Yemen Aid Programmes Hit By Lack Of Funds

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

The United Nations said Wednesday it has been forced to close or severely cut back half of its major programmes in Yemen to tackle the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“We have a moral obligation to warn the world that millions of Yemenis will suffer and could die because we don’t have the funding we need to keep going,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Lisa Grande.

Grande said UN programmes in Yemen had had a “real impact”, preventing large-scale famine, rolling back the worst cholera epidemic in modern history and providing help to millions of displaced people, and she appealed to donors to provide the funds to keep them going.

Five years of war between pro-Iran rebels and a Saudi-led coalition which intervened to shore up the beleaguered government have left nearly 80 percent of Yemenis — more than 24 million people — dependent on some form of humanitarian aid.

A Yemen aid conference held in Riyadh on June 2 saw donors pledge only $1.35 billion of the $2.41 billion needed to cover essential humanitarian activities until the end of the year, leaving a gap of more than $1 billion.

Saudi Arabia, a key player in the conflict, emerged as the biggest donor, pledging an aid package worth $500 million.

The UN said the impact of underfunding had been dramatic, against what it has termed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

In April, food rations for more than eight million people in northern Yemen were halved and humanitarian agencies were forced to stop reproductive health services in 140 facilities.

Health services were cut or reduced in a further 275 specialised centres for treating people with cholera and other infectious diseases.

Allowances to nearly 10,000 frontline health workers were stopped and the supplies needed to treat trauma patients, who will almost certainly die without immediate treatment, were halted.

If funding is not urgently received within weeks, medicines and essential supplies for 189 hospitals and 2,500 clinics, representing half of the health facilities in Yemen, will halt just as the world does battle with the coronavirus pandemic.

International medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that Yemen faces a “catastrophe” from the disease.

The UN says COVID-19 has likely already spread throughout most of Yemen, even though less than 2,000 cases, including 537 deaths, have been recorded.

AFP

UN Warns Yemen On Brink Of Famine Again

A protester holds a Yemeni flag-themed placard in Parliament Square in London on July 5, 2020, as she demonstrates against the continued conflict in Yemen. - Yemen has been locked in conflict since the Huthis took control of Sanaa in 2014 and went on to seize much of the north. The crisis escalated when the Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to support Yemen's internationally-recognised government. Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian disaster. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
A protester holds a Yemeni flag-themed placard in Parliament Square in London on July 5, 2020, as she demonstrates against the continued conflict in Yemen. – Yemen has been locked in conflict since the Huthis took control of Sanaa in 2014 and went on to seize much of the north. The crisis escalated when the Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to support Yemen’s internationally-recognised government. Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

 

War-torn Yemen is once again on the brink of famine as donor funds that averted catastrophe just 18 months ago have dried up, the country’s UN humanitarian coordinator said.

With much of the country dependent on aid, a coronavirus pandemic raging unchecked, and countless children already facing starvation, Lise Grande said that millions of vulnerable families could quickly move from “being able to hold on to being in free fall.”

The United Nations raised only around half the required $2.41 billion in aid for Yemen at a June donor conference co-hosted by Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition backing the internationally recognised government against Huthi rebels who control much of the north.

Yemen is already gripped by what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with tens of thousands killed, an estimated four million people displaced by war and 80 percent of the country’s 29 million people dependent on aid for their survival.

Grande said in an interview from Sanaa that critical programmes providing sanitation, healthcare and food were already closing down because of a lack of cash, just as the economic situation is looking “scarily similar” to the darkest days of the crisis.

A critical fuel shortage, for which the Huthis and the government are trading blame, is now threatening the operation of the electricity grid, water supply, and key infrastructure like hospitals.

“Ships aren’t being allowed to bring in life-saving commodities, the currency is depreciating very quickly. The central bank is out of money. The price of a basic food basket… has increased by 30 percent in just the past few weeks alone,” Grande said.

“We’re seeing the same factors driving the country towards famine that we saw before. We don’t have the resources we need to fight it and roll it back this time. It’s something to be profoundly worried about.”

– Empty promises? –
Saudi Arabia emerged as the biggest donor at the June event, pledging $500 million. Britain and the United States, both major weapons suppliers to Saudi Arabia, also stepped in with large packages.

However, Grande said that only nine of the 31 donors had actually provided the funds — a pattern that the UN has sounded alarm over before, and which will worsen as the world sinks into a coronavirus-induced recession.

“It’s very clear that the COVID pandemic has put pressure on assistance budgets all over the world … They’re just not going to be able to do what they’ve done previously. And the impact of that is going to be very significant, very severe,” she said.

Yemen has so far officially recorded some 1,300 cases of the disease, with 359 fatalities, but testing is scant, most clinics are ill-equipped to determine causes of death and there are ominous signs that the real toll is much higher.

Modelling by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates there could have been over one million coronavirus infections by last month, and that 85,000 people could die in a worst-case scenario.

But as the country’s needs escalate, the ability to meet them has diminished.

– Programmes cut –
Grande said that in the next few days, the UN faced the “unbelievable situation” of having to stop providing fuel to hospitals as well as water supply and sanitation systems across the country.

The World Food Programme, which has been providing staples to 13 million people, has had to scale back with deliveries to only about 8.5-8.7 million people per month, and many of those have been put on half rations.

And the week the coronavirus crisis started, the WHO ran out of funds to pay 10,000 public health workers across the country.

A year and a half ago when Yemen last stood on the brink, the situation was very different.

The central bank was recapitalised by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — then an active partner in the coalition — paid schoolteachers’ salaries, the currency was stabilised and commodity imports were supported.

“Eighteen months ago, we were one of the best-funded humanitarian operations in the world,” Grande said.

“The country is right back where it was. The difference is that now we don’t have the resources we need in order to push it back.”

COVID-19: Yemen Weddings Air On Live TV To Avoid Virus Shutdown

wedding
File: A woman (L) wearing a face mask adjusts a wedding dress as a couple poses for wedding photos in Beijing on June 23, 2020.  WANG Zhao / AFP

 

The Yemeni grooms sit expectantly inside a TV studio, waiting for their wedding parties to be broadcast live so that families and friends can join in the celebrations despite a coronavirus lockdown.

The pandemic has forced weddings to be scaled down or cancelled across the world but in the Yemeni capital Sanaa the traditional folk music and dancing have been beamed into people’s homes instead.

Well-wishers call into the satellite channel Alhawyah to offer their congratulations to the grooms, dressed in their finest clothes and with rifles propped up next to them and traditional daggers tucked into their belts.

As the number of coronavirus cases began to rise in war-ravaged Yemen, Alhawyah — Arabic for “identity” — began hosting wedding parties with the aim of reducing guest numbers and preventing the spread of the virus.

Participants are sprayed with disinfectant before entering the studio for the all-male gatherings, where a popular band performs.

Before the pandemic, weddings in Yemen were lively affairs that drew hundreds of guests — both men and women but separately in line with tribal tradition. The men spent the evening chewing qat, a mild narcotic that is a mainstay of Yemeni culture.

Presenter Abdulwahab Yahya said the idea of the show is “to keep the bridegrooms in good health and to help them enjoy their weddings despite coronavirus”.

“Instead of guests coming to wedding halls to greet the bridegrooms, they can phone and greet them during the two-hour show,” he said.

Osama al-Qaood spent months trying to organise his big day before opting for a televised event.

“Normal wedding gatherings will help spread the disease to neighbourhoods and communities. My real joy is to ensure a healthy society,” he told AFP.

Yemen is engulfed in a long war between Iranian-backed Huthi rebels, who control much of the north including Sanaa, and the government which is supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.

Five years of conflict have killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and created what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

UN agencies and humanitarian groups have warned that Yemen’s dilapidated health system will not be able to cope with a major outbreak of coronavirus.

Authorities have so far reported 967 cases including 257 deaths, but the real toll is feared to be much higher.

“I hoped that I would be able to organise a normal wedding where relatives and friends get together to celebrate,” said another of the grooms, Mohammed al-Rahoumi.

“But amid the spread of coronavirus, we came to the TV channel to receive greetings,” he told AFP.

Saudi Fighter Jet Crashes In Yemen As Rebels Take Responsibility

PICTURE USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: A Singapore Air Force F-15SG fighter jet participates in an aerial display at the Singapore Airshow in Singapore on February 13, 2020. ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP
PICTURE USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: A Singapore Air Force F-15SG fighter jet participates in an aerial display at the Singapore Airshow in Singapore on February 13, 2020.
ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP

 

A Saudi fighter jet crashed in conflict-torn Yemen, the Riyadh-led military coalition supporting the government announced Saturday, as the Iran-backed Huthi rebels said they downed the plane.

The Tornado aircraft came down on Friday in northern Al-Jawf province during an operation to assist Yemeni government forces, the coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It did not specify the fate of the crew or the cause of the crash.

The Huthis’ Al-Masirah television said the jet was downed by the rebels using an “advanced surface-to-air missile”.

The insurgents reported multiple coalition air strikes on Saturday in the Huthi-controlled area where the plane went down as local residents gathered near the wreckage, according to Al-Masirah.

The bombing raids left “dozens” of people dead or wounded, Al-Masirah added, a claim that could not be immediately verified by local aid workers.

The coalition intervened against the Huthis in 2015, first with air and naval forces and later with ground forces as well.

The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and sparked what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The coalition has been widely criticised for the high civilian death toll from its bombing campaign, which has prompted some Western governments to cut arms deliveries to the countries taking part.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have purchased billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the United States, France and Britain.

On Wednesday, the coalition said it would put on trial military personnel suspected of being behind deadly air strikes on Yemeni civilians.

The cases being investigated include a 2018 air strike on a school bus in the northern region of Dahyan that killed at least 40 children, Saudi-based Arab News said.

 

AFP

Over 80 Soldiers Killed In Yemen Missile, Drone Attack

A member of Yemen’s southern separatist-dominated Security Belt Forces stands guard during a meeting of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the southern city of Aden, on January 13, 2020.
Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

 

More than 80 Yemeni soldiers have been killed and scores injured in a missile and drone attack blamed on Huthi rebels in central Yemen, medical and military sources said Sunday.

Saturday’s strike follows months of relative calm in the war between the Iran-backed Huthis and Yemen’s internationally recognised government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

The Huthis attacked a mosque in a military camp in the central province of Marib — about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa — during evening prayers, military sources told AFP.

A medical source at a Marib city hospital, where the casualties were transported, said that 83 soldiers were killed and 148 injured in the strike.

Death tolls in Yemen’s grinding conflict are often disputed, but the huge casualty list in Marib represents one of the bloodiest single attacks since the war erupted in 2014 when the rebels seized Sanaa.

Saudi-owned Al-Hadath television broadcast a video that it said showed the gruesome aftermath of the attack.

Body parts can be seen on the floor, among shredded debris, and with blood pooled on the carpet and spattered against the walls.

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The drone and missile strike came a day after coalition-backed government forces launched a large-scale operation against the Huthis in the Nihm region, north of Sanaa.

Fighting in Nihm was ongoing on Sunday, a military source said according to the official Saba news agency.

“Dozens from the (Huthi) militia were killed and injured,” the source added.

Members of Yemen’s southern separatist-dominated Security Belt Forces stand guard during a meeting of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the southwestern coastal city of Aden, on January 13, 2020.
Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

‘De-Escalation Cannot Be Sustained’

Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi condemned the “cowardly and terrorist” attack on the mosque, Saba reported.

“The disgraceful actions of the Huthi militia without a doubt confirm its unwillingness to (achieve) peace, because it knows nothing but death and destruction and is a cheap Iranian tool in the region,” it quoted Hadi as saying.

The president also stressed the importance of increasing military vigilance “to foil hostile and destructive plans and maintain security and stability”.

The Huthis did not make any immediate claim of responsibility and the Saba report did not give a death toll.

The uptick in violence comes shortly after United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths welcomed a sharp reduction in air strikes and the movement of ground forces.

“We are surely, and I hope this is true and I hope it will remain so, witnessing one of the quietest periods of this conflict,” he said in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday.

“Experience however tells us that military de-escalation cannot be sustained without political progress between the parties, and this has become the next challenge.”

A year after Yemen’s warring sides agreed to a UN-brokered truce for the key Red Sea port city of Hodeida and its surroundings, fighting in the province has subsided but the slow implementation of the deal has quashed hopes for an end to the conflict.

The landmark agreement signed in Sweden in December 2018 had been hailed as Yemen’s best chance so far to end the fighting that has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the war that has ravaged the country, triggering what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the conflict to back the government against the Huthis in March 2015, shortly after the rebels seized control of Sanaa.

A senior UN official warned Thursday that certain key factors that threatened to trigger a famine in Yemen last year were once again looming large, including a plunge in the value of the national currency.

“With a rapidly depreciating rial and disrupted salary payments, we are again seeing some of the key conditions that brought Yemen to the brink of famine a year ago,” Ramesh Rajasingham, who coordinates humanitarian aid in Yemen, told the UN Security Council.

“We must not let that happen again,” he said.

AFP

Yemen Missile Strike Kills Five Southern Separatists

 

A missile struck a passing out ceremony in southern Yemen on Sunday, killing at least five southern separatists, security officials said.

The ceremony in the town of Ad-Dali was for new recruits to the separatist-dominated Security Belt Forces, a formation trained and equipped by the United Arab Emirates to patrol territory retaken from northern rebels or Al-Qaeda, its spokesmen Majed al-Shuaibi said.

Five soldiers were killed and nine others wounded when the missile hit the reviewing stand during the march-past.

Shuaibi told AFP the missile was fired by the Huthi Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north.

But there was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Iran-allied rebels, whose forces are present in the mountains just 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Ad-Dali.

In August, 36 Security Belt soldiers were killed in a drone and missile attack by the Huthis on a passing out ceremony just outside the main southern city of Aden.

The security forces in the south have also come under repeated attack by both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

There has also been a war within a war between rival unionists and separatist elements of the loyalist security forces.

The Security Belt Forces seized Aden in deadly fighting with unionists in August and a fragile truce reached in Saudi Arabia last month has so far failed to produce a promised power-sharing government.

17 Civilians Killed In 3rd Attack On Yemen Market

 

Seventeen civilians were killed in an attack in a market in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, the United Nations said, the third deadly assault on the same location in just over a month.

The attacks come despite relative calm in Yemen, where large-scale combat between government troops — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition — and the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels has largely subsided.

The UN said 12 Ethiopian migrants were among the 17 civilians killed in the incident on Tuesday at the Al-Raqw market in Saada governorate, a Huthi rebel stronghold.

At least 12 people were wounded, it said, without saying who was responsible or what weaponry was used.

READ ALSO: Morocco Jails Youtuber, Detains Journalist

The Saudi-led coalition acknowledged on Thursday it had carried out an operation in Monabbih, a Saada district where the market is located.

The Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) — which the coalition established but says operates independently — will investigate “the possibility of collateral damage”, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said in a statement.

The coalition did not provide further details.

An attack on Al-Raqw market on November 22 killed 10 civilians, again including Ethiopian nationals, and just days later, at least another 10 civilians were killed and 22 wounded in a second such incident.

“The attacks on Al-Raqw market raise deeply troubling questions about the commitment of the parties to the conflict to uphold international humanitarian law,” Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said Wednesday.

“Every attack of this kind is a gross violation,” she said in a statement.

The UN says 89 civilians have either been killed or wounded in the attacks on the market.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced since March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s conflict.

Ethiopian Migrants Killed In Attack On Yemen Market – UN

A photo of the United Nations emblem.

 

Seventeen civilians were killed in an attack in a market in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, the United Nations said, the third deadly assault on the same location in just over a month.

The attacks come despite relative calm in Yemen, where large-scale combat between government troops — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition — and the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels has subsided.

The UN said 12 Ethiopian migrants were among the 17 civilians killed in the incident on Tuesday at the Al-Raqw market in Saada governorate, a Huthi rebel stronghold.

At least 12 people were wounded, it said, without saying who was responsible or what weapons were used.

An attack on Al-Raqw market on November 22 killed 10 civilians, again including Ethiopian nationals, and just days later, at least another 10 civilians were killed and 22 wounded in a second such incident.

“The attacks on Al-Raqw market raise deeply troubling questions about the commitment of the parties to the conflict to uphold international humanitarian law,” Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said Wednesday.

“Every attack of this kind is a gross violation,” she said in a statement.

The UN says 89 civilians have either been killed or wounded in the attacks on the market.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced since March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict to back the government against the Huthi insurgents.

The UN considers the war in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

AFP

Iran Planning To Attack Israel From Yemen, Says Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the press at the Palmachim Air Force Base near the city of Rishon LeZion on October 27, 2019. Abir SULTAN / POOL / AFP

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of wanting to strike Israel with precision-guided missiles from Yemen as he urged US President Donald Trump’s administration to further pressure Tehran.

Netanyahu made the comments as he met US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem, and while he again congratulated Trump on the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he called for “a lot more” sanctions against Israel’s archfoe Iran.

“Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to 10 metres,” Netanyahu said.

“They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000… rockets to precision-guided munitions.”

He added that “they seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there too.”

READ ALSO: We Have Obtained The Capacity To Destroy Israel, Says Iran General

Netanyahu made reference to September 14 attacks on two Saudi oil facilities and echoing Riyadh, blamed Iran. Tehran has denied involvement.

The attacks were claimed by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels.

Mnuchin, on a tour of the Middle East and India, said “we have a shared view as to the threat that Iran poses to the region and to the world” and spoke of the US “maximum pressure campaign” involving sanctions.

“We will continue to ramp up more, more, more, as you’ve said.”

Washington has hit Iran with unilateral sanctions since withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear accord between world powers and Tehran.

Israelis have been concerned over Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from neighbouring Syria that many have viewed as a blatant abandonment of Washington’s Kurdish allies.

There are worries that Israel too could be abandoned by its most important ally, as well as longstanding concerns that Iran could move to fill any vacuum in Syria.

Iran, along with Russia, has been backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in his country’s eight-year civil war.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was among the US officials accompanying Mnuchin on his trip.

Kushner and US special representative for Iran Brian Hook also met Netanyahu on Monday.

Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s main opponent in Israel’s deadlocked September 17 elections, met Kushner and Hook as well.

Netanyahu failed to form a new government following the elections, and Gantz is now seeking to do so though he also faces long odds.

The stalemate has raised the possibility that Israel will soon be heading toward a third election in a year’s time.

AFP

Seven Children Among 16 Dead In Yemen Air Strikes

 

Seven children were among 16 people killed on Tuesday in twin airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in southern Yemen, an official and a doctor said.

“Sixteen people, including women and children, were killed and nine others injured” in a coalition air raid targeting a residence in Daleh province, the local official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A doctor at Al Thawra hospital in Ibb province where the bodies were taken said seven children and four women were among the dead.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels condemned the coalition for its “continued aggression” against the Yemeni people, according to their Al-Masirah television.

The coalition could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in March 2015 in support of the beleaguered government.

The fighting has also displaced millions and left 24.1 million — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.

The United Nations has described Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

AFP

Yemen Rebels Announce Plan To Halt Attacks On Saudi Arabia

 

 

Yemen’s Huthi rebels announced late Friday that they planned to halt all attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of a peace initiative to end their country’s devastating conflict.

Mehdi al-Mashat, head of the Huthis’ supreme political council, announced in a speech marking the 2014 rebel seizure of the capital Sanaa “the halt of all attacks against the territory of Saudi Arabia”.

He added that he hoped “the gesture would be answered by a stronger gesture” from the Saudis, according to the rebels’ Al-Masirah television channel.

The announcement comes after a wave of drone strikes last weekend on Saudi oil installations knocked out half of the kingdom’s production and sent shock waves through energy markets.

The Huthis claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Riyadh’s ally Washington has placed the blame on Iran, which backs the Yemeni insurgents.

President Donald Trump and the US Treasury Department on Friday laid out the latest in a series of economic sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Mashat said the Huthis’ peace initiative was aimed at “bringing about peace through serious negotiations to achieve a comprehensive national reconciliation which does not exclude anyone”.

A major goal was to “preserve the blood of Yemenis and achieve a general amnesty”, he added.

The plan calls for rebels to “stop all attacks on Saudi territory by drones, ballistic missiles and other means”, he said.

“Pursuing war is not in anyone’s interest.”

He also called for the reopening of Sanaa’s international airport and open access to Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeida, a crucial entry point for imports and humanitarian aid.

The Huthis have been fighting against a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in 2015 to support the country’s internationally recognised government.

The rebels have repeatedly targeted key Saudi infrastructure in recent months in cross-border attacks.

Saudi Arabia has so far not directly accused any party of carrying out Saturday’s attacks, but said authorities have launched an investigation to determine the culprits.