On Wednesday night, the coalition claimed it was halting military operations in Yemen in support of UN efforts to end its five-year war, which has killed tens of thousands and spread hunger and disease.
Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malkiclaimed that the move was decided in part to avoid a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus in Yemen, where no cases have been reported so far.
The spokesman said the ceasefire would go into effect at midday on Thursday for two weeks and was open to extension.
However, shortly after the announcement, the coalition’s warplanes struck positions at several Yemeni regions, including Sa’ada, Amran, and al-Bayda, according to Yemen’s al-Masirah TV.
Before the airstrikes, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement had downplayed the Saudi ceasefire announcement, describing it as a chance for Riyadh to get out of the quagmire with minimum disgrace.
Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior member of the Political Bureau of the Ansarullah movement, told al-Mayadeen TV that the coalition’s move to announce a ceasefire was just another ploy by the aggressors.
“Saudis have repeatedly declared ceasefire in Yemenbut have violated it every time,” he noted.