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Saudi-led coalition strikes Yemeni capital after attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels

Assault on Sanaa follows wave of drone, missile attacks on Saudi targets, as Houthis call truce and condition peace talks on removal of ‘foreign forces’ from Yemen

This picture shows the damage following overnight airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, targeting the Huthi rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa, March 26, 2022. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)
This picture shows the damage following overnight airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, targeting the Huthi rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa, March 26, 2022. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

RIYADH — The Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes in Yemen early on Sunday after the country’s Houthi rebels called a three-day truce and offered a permanent ceasefire, Saudi media said.

The raids targeted Sanaa, the rebel-held capital, according to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ekhbariya TV, which tweeted “the start of airstrikes on Houthi camps and strongholds in Sanaa” around midnight.

The attacks began shortly after the Iran-backed Houthis announced a three-day truce and offered peace talks on condition that the Saudis stop their airstrikes and blockade of Yemen and remove “foreign forces.”

Rebel reports of casualties could not be independently confirmed.

The Houthi truce followed a wave of drone and missile attacks on Saudi targets on Friday, including an oil depot near Jeddah’s Formula One track that turned into a raging inferno during televised practice sessions.

It was announced on the seventh anniversary of the intervention led by oil-rich Saudi Arabia in Yemen, its impoverished neighbor, after the Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014.

Military loyal to Yemen’s Huthis chant slogans during a rally marking the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in their country, in the capital Sanaa, March 26, 2022. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

The conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people directly or indirectly and displaced millions, creating what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis have turned down an invitation to peace talks in Riyadh, scheduled for the coming days, to be hosted by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

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