Yemen’s Houthi militias and the allied military units accepted a five-day truce late Saturday, according to Reuters, and the Saudi press agency announced that Malaysia is joining the airstrike coalition.
The truce came after a proposal by Saudi Arabia on Friday and intensified bombing of the capital Sana’a, and Sa’ada, the Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen, over the last few days.
The Saudi airstrikes in the past few days were primarily aimed at Sa’ada, after shelling by the Houthis hit the Saudi city of Najran, prompting intensified airstrikes by coalition forces.
The renewed attacks on Sa’ada drew much criticism for designating the entire governorate a military target after calls upon the civilian population to evacuate the area, something deemed impossible due to the fuel crisis in Yemen.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw on Saturday stated that “the targeting of an entire governorate will put countless civilians at risk,” branding it as being “in contravention of international humanitarian law”.
Further, Sana’a airport was allegedly hit again, Reuters reported. The airport was hit last week, despite being described by Van Der Klaauw as being an “important lifeline” for the people in Sana’a and the surrounding areas.
Another development is the participation of the Malaysian Air Force in the airstrikes on Yemen. Military commanders in Riyadh announced the Malaysian participation and their arrival at Saudi bases on Sunday.
The ceasefire in Yemen is set to start on Tuesday, and was proposed by recently-appointed Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Al-Jubeir was also the one to announce the start of the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis.