Saudi Coalition Declares Cease-fire in Yemen for Ramadan
The Saudi-led coalition in support of the internationally recognized government of Yemen declared a truce for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The coalition’s military operations were to be halted from Wednesday, two days before the start of Ramadan. The announcement of the truce came the same day as a Gulf Cooperation Council summit on the Yemen civil war. The Houthi rebels boycotted the summit since it was not held in a neutral country. Such cease-fires have been put into effect for Ramadan in the past. The decision comes amid efforts by the United Nations to end the war in Yemen and reach a political solution. The United Nations has called for a temporary cease-fire during Ramadan in exchange for allowing ships carrying fuel to dock the Hodeidah port, currently in Houthi hands, and a small number of commercial flights to operate from Sanaa airport, also controlled by the Houthis. The Houthis have in recent weeks stepped up their attacks on Saudi Arabian targets. On Friday, the Houthis struck a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Jeddah, causing a huge fire in a storage tank. The Saudis responded by pounding the Houthi capital of Sanaa, after which the Houthis called a unilateral three-day cease-fire.