Yemen’s Houthis welcome proposed Russian truce


A Shiite Houthi spokesman on Saturday welcomed a proposed Russian initiative for suspending military operations in Yemen.

Houthi military spokesman Sharaf Luqman welcomed the Russian initiative, which will include a suspension of military operations in Yemen and also lifting a blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and allied Arab states on Yemen, according to the pro-Houthi SABA news agency.

He called on the United Nations to play a role in delivering humanitarian aid to the Yemenis.

In early April, Russia proposed a humanitarian truce in Yemen at the United Nations Security Council.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia declared a five-day conditional humanitarian truce in the country.

It said the truce would start on Tuesday and could be renewed, provided that the Houthis abided by cease-fire in all Yemeni provinces.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.

Riyadh says its air campaign comes in response to appeals by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for military intervention against the Houthis.

Hadi, who is backed by the Sunni-majority Gulf States, fled to Riyadh in March after Houthi forces attacked his residence in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden.