The United Nations (UN) on Friday has called on the two sides of the conflict in Yemen to “exercise restraint”, while the Yemeni government and the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) exchanged accusations of violating the truce.
The main fighting fronts appeared calm since the start of the truce last Saturday, but the two sides of the conflict have since exchanged accusations of advancement in Ma’rib, northern Yemen.
The Houthis have been trying for more than a year to advance towards the city of Ma’rib to gain control of the entire north of Yemen.
Military sources close to the Yemeni government announced that a Houthi attack had been thwarted south of Ma’rib. A military source told AFP that the Houthi forces had pushed out military reinforcements taking advantage of the cessation of air raids.
The source also noted: “The attack was repelled, and the Houthis were forced to retreat.” According to the source, the pro-government forces “launched a counterattack on the Houthis” south of Ma’rib.
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The Houthis announced via their Almasirah TV that they had “repelled the advance” south of the city, citing “a violation of the humanitarian and military truce.”
On Friday evening, UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg called on both sides of the conflict to exercise restraint and abide by the truce.
Grundberg tweeted: “I am following very closely the latest developments in #Marib and urge all parties to show restraint and their continued commitment to the truce as promised to Yemenis.”
The truce is supposed to last for two months and includes allowing commercial flights from Sanaa International Airport, which has been open only to aid planes since 2016. This represents a rare glimmer of hope in the conflict after a debilitating war ongoing for more than seven years.