AL-MUKALLA: Four Yemeni army soldiers were killed and 17 more wounded in the latest wave of Houthi attacks in three days, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said, adding a further blow to the UN-brokered truce.
The ministry said that the Houthis violated the truce 288 times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in former flaring battlefields across the country.
It added that Yemeni forces pushed back many attempts by the Houthis to seize control of new areas and came under drone and missile attacks by the Houthis in the provinces of Hodeidah, Taiz, Marib, Hajjah, Jouf and Dhale.
Most of the Houthi attacks — 80 violations — occurred in the contested Hays district in Hodeidah province followed by 65 violations in Taiz where the Houthis attacked government troops with explosives-rigged drones and medium and heavy machine guns, killing four soldiers and wounding 17.
The total number of army deaths since last Saturday is nine.
Brig. Gen. Abdu Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni Army spokesperson, told Arab News that the army is still observing the truce, despite the Houthi’s violations, repeating appeals to the international community to mount pressure on the Houthis to stop the attacks.
“The terrorist Houthi militia have broken the renewed truce hundreds of times in a clear disregard to international agreements. There are many martyrs in the army in the attacks,” Majili said.
Despite confirmed reports about the violations, the UN and international aid organizations said that human casualties have significantly dropped during the truce and vital humanitarian assistance reached the needy across the country.
In Sanaa, the Houthis arranged military funerals for five officers who were killed on the battlefield.
Dozens of dead Houthi fighters have been buried in similar military funerals during the past two months across the Houthi-controlled areas.
In addition to reducing hostilities, the truce that came into effect on April 2 allowed the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa airport for the first time in six years and also at least a dozen fuel ships entered Hodeidah port.
But the Houthis have not lifted their siege on Yemen’s city of Taiz, one of the elements of the truce despite two rounds of talks with the Yemeni government and mounting international pressure.
Separately, the EU on Saturday called on local authorities in Yemen’s southern city of Aden to find the people who assassinated journalist Saber Al-Haidari last week.
Al-Haidari, a Yemeni Information Ministry employee and a reporter for a Japanese media outlet, was burned to death in Aden after an IED ripped through his car.
“The EU condemns the killing of journalist Saber Al-Haidari in Aden on Wednesday. We call on the authorities to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice,” the EU said on Twitter.