Top U.S. Officials Call For Swift Cease-fire In War-Torn Yemen
United States Defense chief Jim Mattis and top diplomat Mike Pompeo both called for a speedy cessation of hostilities in Yemen, where war between Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels and a coalition of Sunni Gulf nations has raged for three-and-a-half years. The American officials called for a truce in the country within thirty days, following which all parties to the conflict would renew long-stalled United Nations-sponsored peace negotiations. It comes amid growing pressure on the Trump administration to end its tactical support for the Saudi-led military operation, which rights groups say has involved the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. Meanwhile, the UN last week warned that half of the Yemen’s population—about 14 million people—are entirely reliant on external aid for survival amid pervasive “pre-famine conditions.” The Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015, after the Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh. More than 6,500 civilians have since been killed in the fighting, with thousands more perishing from avoidable causes such as malnutrition and a major cholera outbreak.