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Raids on Yemen will not stop rebel peace initiative (Houthis)

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — A Yemeni rebel official said on Wednesday that recent raids in the country attributed to the Saudi-led military alliance would not push the Houthis back from their initiative to halt attacks on the kingdom.

“We realized that they would not accept the initiative immediately,” said Hisham Sharaf, the foreign minister of the unrecognized government in Sanaa. “We will give them time.”

“When the time comes in the coming days, we will take a stand,” he told an AFP correspondent in the rebel-held capital.

Contrary to all expectations, Iranian-backed rebels launched a “peace initiative” on Friday evening by declaring a halt to attacks on Saudi Arabia by “flying, ballistic and winged missiles and all forms of targeting.” “We are waiting to be greeted with similar or better greetings,” they said.

But the Houthi-controlled areas have been hit in recent days by raids attributed to the Saudi-led coalition.

According to the United Nations, 22 people have been killed in two raids in recent days.

The first occurred on September 23 in al-Sawad in the northern province of Amran when a strike hit a mosque, killing seven civilians, including women and children from the same family.

On Tuesday, 15 civilians were killed and 15 injured when airstrikes hit a house in the Al-Fakher area of ​​the southern province of Dali.

Despite these strikes and the killing of civilians, Sharaf said: “The initiative is continuing, and we will be patient. If they want peace, we are also. If they do not want peace, they know that we will hit them hard.”

Since 2014, Yemen has been at war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the government of recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.Fight intensified in March 2015 as Saudi Arabia intervened at the head of a military alliance in support of government forces.

The war has left about 10,000 dead and more than 56,000 wounded since 2015, according to the World Health Organization, but a number of humanitarian officials say the actual toll is much higher.

The Houthi initiative came about a week after they adopted attacks on September 14 targeting the Khurais oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest crude refinery in Abqaiq, about 200 kilometers north of Khurais.

But the United States said the attacks were launched from Iran, not Yemen, a charge Tehran denied.

In the first reaction to the rebel initiative, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said Saturday that Riyadh would monitor the seriousness of its implementation. “We judge other parties based on their actions, not their words,” he said.

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