Yemeni Houthis announce three-day ceasefire after Saudi attacks | Houthis news

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The statement comes a day after a spate of drone and missile strikes hit targets across Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni Houthi group has announced a three-day ceasefire and the prospect of a “permanent” ceasefire if the Saudi Arabia-led coalition ends its operations against the impoverished country.

The statement came a day after a spate of drone and missile strikes hit targets across Saudi Arabia, including an oil factory near the Formula 1 race in Jeddah, sparking an inferno.

At least seven people are reported to have been killed in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sanaa and Hodeidah on Saturday.

The Houthis said the coalition attack hit a power plant, a fuel supply station and the state-run social insurance office in the capital.

Later, Houthi’s political leader Mahdi al-Mashat announced the suspension of missile and drone strikes and all military actions for a period of three days.

“This is a sincere invitation and practical steps to restore confidence and move all parties from the arena of talks to the arena of action,” al-Mashat said.

“And we are ready to turn this statement into a final and permanent commitment in the event that Saudi Arabia commits to end the siege and stop its attacks on Yemen once and for all,” he added.

There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia.

The ceasefire came on the seventh anniversary of the intervention by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to support the Yemeni government after the Iranian-backed Houthis took the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, and millions have been confronted with famine and disease.

On Saturday, the coalition also gave the Houthis a three-hour deadline to withdraw weapons from Sanaa airport and two ports on the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia-owned Al-Arabiya TV reported, without specifying what time the deadline would pass.

The escalation came as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plans to host talks with the warring parties later this month.

The Houthis have rejected the Saudi capital Riyadh, where the GCC’s headquarters is located, as a meeting place for talks, saying they would not conduct negotiations in “enemy countries”.

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