An oft-violated truce in Yemen is no longer in effect as of Saturday, said the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-allied rebels there.
The fragile ceasefire has been repeatedly breached by warring sides since it was implemented in mid-December. The fighting primarily pits the Saudi coalition, which is trying to reinstall the internationally recognized government, against the Houthis.
The coalition, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said its decision to end the truce was due to what it called “continuing violations” by the rebel Houthis and allied military units loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“The coalition announces the end of the truce in Yemen as of 1400 [1200 GMT] on Saturday,” the statement said.
The move comes less than two weeks before Yemen’s rivals are to meet for a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks, the location of which is not yet known.
Last month, Yemeni rivals’ negotiations in Switzerland produced no breakthrough. The United Nations said they would meet again on January 14. Yemen's conflict has intensified since March, when the mostly Shiite rebels advanced on the Yemeni southern city of Aden, forcing internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to flee the country.
Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies have since launched an air campaign in support of Hadi, a Sunni.
Saudi Arabia fears that victory for the rebels would give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.