Middle East

Yemen conflict: Saudi-led coalition ends ceasefire

Fighters loyal to Yemen's government ride on the back of a truck Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There have been violations from both sides in the war

A Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen has said it will no longer observe a ceasefire announced last month.

A statement carried on Saudi state media blamed violations by the Houthis and other allied militia.

But the coalition is still "keen to create the right conditions to find a peaceful solution", the statement said.

The 15 December ceasefire began at the same time as UN-brokered talks aimed at ending Yemen's conflict.

Negotiations broke up days later, however, without agreement. Further talks are due later this month.

Despite the truce, fierce fighting continued on the ground.

'Lack of seriousness'

The coalition's statement accused the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of firing ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, attacking border posts and shelling civilian areas.

"All this shows their lack of seriousness and disregard for civilian lives as well as their attempt to take advantage of the truce to achieve gains," it said.

About 6,000 people, almost half of them civilians, have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign against the Houthi rebels in March.

The conflict has worsened an already dire humanitarian situation, with about four-fifths of Yemenis requiring aid.

Why is there fighting in Yemen?

  • Northern Shia Muslim rebels known as Houthis, backed by forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president, took over parts of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government into exile in March 2015
  • The rebels accused the government of corruption and of planning to marginalise their heartland within a proposed federal system
  • Forces loyal to the government and Southern militias, aided by Saudi-led coalition air strikes and troops, have since regained control of five southern provinces

Yemen's humanitarian catastrophe

The war the world forgot?

Who is fighting whom?

Meeting the Houthis and their enemies