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Yemen: Saudi-led airstrikes resume despite 'halt' to campaign

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Yemen: Saudi-led airstrikes resume despite 'halt' to campaign


Saudi-led coalition warplanes have bombed rebel positions in Yemen despite Riyadh announcing it was ending its campaign of air strikes.

Houthi rebels have been pounded for almost a month but on Tuesday the Saudis declared a new phase was beginning in which the main focus would be on the political process and aid efforts.

Air strikes resumed on Wednesday though, amid intense fighting in Yemen’s third city of Taiz, with reports of coalition jets hitting an army base seized by the Houthis.

The Shi’ite rebel movement already runs the capital Sanaa and has been fighting to take over the southern port of Aden.

It says it wants a return to United Nations peace talks, but only after airstrikes are finally halted.

With hundreds killed in Yemen’s violence, an end to bombardments was demanded in a rally by protesters in Sanaa – amid a humanitarian situation described as “catastrophic” by the Red Cross.

But finding a political solution will be hard in a conflict stirring animosities between rival Gulf powers, with Shi’ite Iran still denying Saudi claims that it is arming the Houthi militia.

The White House on Wednesday said Yemen remained unstable and much more work needed to be done in the region on a diplomatic solution, despite the declared halt to the Saudi-led bombing.

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