Middle East

Bloody fighting continues in Yemen despite truce deal

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Residents in the Yemen port city of Hodeidah say fighting has resumed despite the two warring sides agreeing to a truce at UN-sponsored peace talks.

Fighting has broken out on the outskirts of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah a day after a ceasefire agreement was reached by the warring parties at UN-sponsored peace talks.

The main port used to feed Yemen's 30 million people is held by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that also controls the capital Sanaa and has been battling against a Saudi-led Arab coalition seeking to restore a government ousted in 2014.

Houthi rebel fighters brandish their weapons in Yemen. Fighting continues, despite a peace deal being hammered out by the various parties.
Houthi rebel fighters brandish their weapons in Yemen. Fighting continues, despite a peace deal being hammered out by the various parties.
AP

Hodeidah has been the focus of fighting this year, raising global fears that a battle could cut off supply lines and lead to mass starvation. Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have massed on the city's outskirts.

Despite the ceasefire, one resident told Reuters he could hear the sound of missiles and automatic gunfire in the direction of the eastern 7th July suburb.

Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said coalition warplanes had launched two strikes on Ras Isa city north of Hodeidah. The coalition did not immediately confirm the report.

Head of delegation for rebel forces known as Houthis, Mohammed Abdulsalam (R), Yemen Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman (L) with the UN Secretary General.
Head of delegation for rebel forces known as Houthis, Mohammed Abdulsalam (R), Yemen Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman (L) with the UN Secretary General.
AAP

The warring sides agreed after a week of consultations in Sweden to cease fighting in Hodeidah and withdraw their troops as part of confidence-building measures to pave the way for a wider truce and political negotiations.

It was the first significant breakthrough for UN-led peace efforts to end the nearly four-year-old war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

Envoy Martin Griffiths said at the end of the peace talks that both parties would withdraw "within days" from the port and then from the city. International monitors would be deployed and all armed forces would pull back completely within 21 days.

Fighting in Hodeidah has resumed despite the two warring sides agreeing to a truce at UN-sponsored peace talks.
Fighting in Hodeidah has resumed despite the two warring sides agreeing to a truce at UN-sponsored peace talks.
Getty Images

Both sides issued statements following the talks claiming they would ultimately control Hodeidah.

The warring parties are due to hold another round of talks in January to discuss a framework for political negotiations.

Western nations, some of which supply arms and intelligence to the Sunni Muslim military coalition, have pressed alliance leaders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to end the war following outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.

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