Saudi-led coalition airstrikes over Yemen intensified on Sunday, signaling that ceasefire talks between the warring factions have stalled. The coalition bombed a military base and the presidential palace in Sanaa and targeted several other provinces. Saudi Arabia and Hadi’s government-in-exile insist there would be no deal with the Houthis unless they abide by UN Security Council resolution and withdraw their forces from areas they have occupied in recent months.
“There would be no deal with the Houthis until they withdraw from areas under their control,” said Riyadh Yeseen, the foreign minister of Hadi’s exiled government. (The New York Times, 26 April)
Meanwhile, heavy fighting between in Taiz continued. The city has in recent days emerged as the latest flash point in Yemen’s civil war. The strategic port city of Aden has also been devastated by factional street fighting for more than a month. In both Aden and Taiz, local militias are fighting the Huthis and the security forces loyal to former president Saleh.
Taiz was a focal point of the nationwide uprising against Saleh in 2011 that led to a deal brokered by Gulf Cooperation Council that removed Saleh from power. Now the local militias opposing the Houthi and Saleh forces include many young people who participated in the protests four years ago, The New York Times reported. A prominent, longtime opponent of the former president, Sheik Hamoud Saeed al-Mikhlafi, was said to be leading the forces opposing the Huthis and Saleh in Taiz.