Yemen Feature: Saudi Coalition Bombs Ex-President’s Home, But Ansar Allah May Accept Ceasefire
PHOTO: Former President Saleh’s home in front of his bombed home in Yemen’s capital Sana’a
The Saudi-led coalition has bombed the home of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, but the ruling Ansar Allah (Houthi) group says it may agree to a proposal for a five-day ceasefire.
Saleh issued a video statement in front of the destroyed residence, and his family were unhurt. The former President, ousted by an uprising in 2012 after more than 30 years in power, is allied with the Ansar Allah movement which took power in February.
Ansar Allah fighters said in a statement on Sunday that they would deal “positively” with any efforts to lift the suffering of the Yemeni people. A foreign affairs spokesman said the truce may be accepted if it is “real and serious”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir have proposed the ceasefire to allow humanitarian efforts.
More than 600 people have been killed, 1,300 wounded, and 300,000 displaced since Saudi-led bombing began in late March. Despite the attacks, Ansar Allah and its allies have continued to advance in southern Yemen, including moves on the port city of Aden.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, said on Saturday:
The indiscriminate bombing of populated areas, with or without prior warning, is in contravention of international humanitarian law.
Many civilians are effectively trapped in Saada as they are unable to access transport because of the fuel shortage. The targeting of an entire governorate will put countless civilians at risk.
The Saudi coalition said on Saturday that, despite the proposed ceasefire, it had hit Yemen with 130 air strikes over the previous 24 hours. Bases of Ansar Allah leaders across Saada and Hajja Provinces in northern Yemen were targeted, as was Sana’a airport’s runway and Ansar Allah positions in the al-Sadda district of Ibb in the center of the country.