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Saudi-backed militants pause Hudaydah attack

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have halted their offensive aimed at taking the strategic port city of Hudaydah from the Houthi Ansarullah fighters.

Three pro-Hadi field commanders told AFP on Wednesday that the Saudi-backed mercenaries had been “ordered” to halt the offensive until further notice. They said they would resume operations if they came under attack.

The announcement came a day after Mark Lowcock, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator urged a ceasefire around Hudaydah.

In recent days, the military coalition led by the Saudi regime and militia groups loyal to Hadi have intensified their attacks on Hudaydah, which is seen as the main entry point for food imports and aid relief needed by millions in the war-torn country.

The Hudaydah offensive has sparked concerns over its impact on the civilian population as well as on humanitarian aid operations.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthis.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

On Wednesday, Yemeni forces shot down two spy drones in the skies over the kingdom’s border region of Jizan.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television network quoted a military source as saying that the drones were shot down east of al-Doud Mountain in Jizan.

On Monday, Yemeni forces intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the coalition as it was flying in the skies over the same mountainous region.

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