A two-day ceasefire after nearly two years of war in Yemen expired Monday and would not be renewed, a spokesman for a Saudi-led military coalition told al-Arabiya TV, with each side blaming the other for violations.
"There is no respect [for the truce], only violations," coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri told AFP. "There have been more people killed in (the southwestern city of) Taiz and more attacks with surface-to-surface missiles, so automatically the conditions are not there" for prolonging the ceasefire deal, he said. "At the military level, for the moment, we have no orders to extend the ceasefire. It's over."
The ceasefire, aimed at ending the chaos and bloodshed that has gripped Yemen since March 2015, came into effect on Saturday following the intervention of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The 48-hour truce, announced unilaterally by the Saudi coalition on Friday, failed to halt fighting across the country between the Iran-aligned Houthis and Saudi-led forces, which intervened on the side of the exiled government in March 2015.
The coalition had said the truce could be renewed if the rebels abided by the deal and allowed aid deliveries to besieged cities. But both sides have accused each other of incessantly breaking the conditions of the deal, and violence flared as its expiration loomed. Fifteen rebels and nine loyalist troops were killed in clashes Sunday night in and around Taiz, military and medical sources said. Four civilians were also killed and 11 others wounded in rebel bombing of loyalist-held neighborhoods, the sources said.
Yemen's 20-month-old war has left more than 7,000 people dead and nearly 37,000 wounded, the World Health Organization announced in its latest toll update. As of Oct. 25, "more than 7,070 people have been killed and over 36,818 injured, according to health facility-based data," the WHO said in a statement late Sunday. Another 21 million people are in need of urgent health services, said the U.N. health agency.
In addition to the fighting, international organizations have warned in recent weeks of a spread of disease and growing rates of malnutrition in the country, which was already the Arabian Peninsula's poorest even before the war erupted. Attempts by the United Nations to convince the warring parties to commit to a cease-fire and resume peace talks have so far failed.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September 2014, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee the country. A Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition has been conducting an extensive air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015 that has pushed the rebels out of southern Yemen. The U.N. says the conflict has left more than 19,000 people dead and displaced at least 3 million. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of Muslim countries, backed by the U.S., the U.K. and France, in the war in neighboring Yemen. The campaign, which is a campaign to restore the government ousted by the Iran-allied militia, is part of a larger assertive effort to prevent weapons from reaching Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies, who have overrun much of Yemen
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