Arab coalition declares pause in Yemen campaign

Air strikes to be halted for five days to allow delivery of humanitarian aid, according to Saudi state media.

    Arab coalition declares pause in Yemen campaign
    The UN has declared Yemen a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale [AP]

    Arab coalition forces have announced a five-day humanitarian pause in their military campaign against Houthi fighters in Yemen, according to Saudi state news agency SPA.

    The suspension of air strikes - which will take effect at 11:59pm local time on Sunday - will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Arabian Peninsula country, SPA said on Saturday.

    The statement said coalition forces would respond to any violation of the pause by the Iran-allied Houthis.

    SPA said the decision was taken at the request of Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has taken refuge in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, with much of his government.

    Hadi, whose supporters have recaptured most of the southern port of Aden from the Houthi fighters after four months of war, wanted the pause for the "delivery and distribution of the maximum amount of humanitarian and medical aid", SPA reported.

    The Arab coalition says its forces will respond to any violation of the humanitarian pause by Houthi fighters [AFP]

    The two previous ceasefires brokered by the UN failed to take hold.

    Late on Friday, coalition air strikes hit a residential area in a Red Sea town, killing at least 120 people, according to an Associated Press news agency report.

    The attacks hit workers' housing for a power plant in Mokha, flattening some of the buildings to the ground, local security and medical officials said.

    A fire erupted in the area, charring many of the corpses, including children, women, and elderly people.

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    Some of the air strikes also hit nearby livestock pens. Human and animal blood pooled on the ground of the surrounding area.

    Arab coalition officials could not be reached for comment.

    It is not clear why the workers' housing was hit. Al Jazeera's sources confirmed that dozens of people had been killed but could not independently verify the death toll.

    The UN has declared Yemen a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale.

    According to UN figures, more than 3,200 people have been killed since late March, when the Arab coalition began air strikes after the Houthis took over the reins of power in the country.


    SOURCE: Agencies


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