Many Yemeni officials and operations by the Saudi-led coalition , backed by the US, revealed unexpected information about the main goal of the peace talks which is considered as a push by the world body to end a devastating coalition war on Yemen.
Head of Sanaa delegation to peace talks, Mohammed Abdulsalam, on Thursday, called on the Yemeni army forces to remain vigilant to respond to any operations taken by the coalition on the ground. “We call upon the army, security and the popular committees to be vigilant and cautious in light of the continued escalation,” Abdulsalam said in a press statement before the start of the peace consultations in Swedish capital city of Stockholm
The head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, threatened to shut Sanaa airport to the UN flights unless demands are met during Sweden consultations.Al-Houthi on his Twitter account said “if Yemen’s capital airport is not opened for the Yemeni people during the consultations, I called on the Supreme Political Council and the government to close the airport in front of the international flights.”
A military source at the Defense Ministry in Sanaa said that coalition is exploiting the political consultations to escalate its military operations in several fronts.“The enemy did not commit to any calm and continues to escalate militarily on internal fronts and at borders, and targets civil facilities, houses, and farms of citizens in a number of provinces,” the source said.Responding to the coalition escalation, the Yemeni army carried out several offensives against sites of the coalition paid fighters in several fronts in Jawf and Hodeidah provinces and caused heavy human losses to the paid fighters.
In December 3,The Yemeni army spokesman Yahya Sarie said in a press conference that the coalition continued military escalation in all fronts and do not respond to ceasefire’s calls in Yemen, saying the coalition fighter jets have waged over 340 strikes on Saada, Hajjah, Hodeidah and other Yemeni provinces over the past ten days, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.
A day later,he stated in a press conference that the coalition escalated ground and air attacks on Yemen ahead of the UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden, adding that the coalition launched over 50 airstrikes and scores of ground attacks on the Yemeni territories over the past 24 hours.The attacks concentrated on Sanaa, Hodeidah, Marib and Saada provinces, and confirming that “The coalition’s attacks came simultaneously with the departure of our national delegation to Swede, which contradict with the United nations peace efforts,” .
Furthermore, in December 5,he added that the coalition stepped up air and ground attacks on Yemen ahead of peace consultations sponsored by the United Nations in Sweden,revealing that the coalition launched over 69 airstrikes and dozens of ground attacks on Yemeni territories over the past 12 hours.The attacks concentrated on Jizan, Bayda, Hodeidah, Dhelea and Marib province.“The coalition’s attacks came simultaneously with the beginning of the UN-backed peace consultations in Sweden and that contradict with the peace efforts,” he said.He, however, said the Yemeni army repelled all the attacks, killing and injuring scores of the paid fighters, including Sudanese soldiers, stressing that the Yemeni army has the right to respond to any military escalation by the coalition.
A round of talks between delegations from Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the country’s former Saudi-backed government open in Sweden under the auspices of the UN in an effort to find a political solution to the Yemen conflict and end a devastating Riyadh-led war on the country.
Under growing international pressure, Riyadh and its allies ultimately submitted to Ansarullah’s demands and returned to the negotiating table for the first time since 2016 in the hope of finding a way out of the war, which has failed to achieve its objectives of reinstalling Hadi and undermining the Houthi movement.
Britain has presented a draft UN Security Council resolution on Yemen, and called on parties involved in Yemen’s crisis to restart peace negotiations.
“The conflict in Yemen can only be resolved though an inclusive political process,” the draft resolution said.
The draft sets a two-week deadline for warring Yemeni parties to remove all barriers to humanitarian aid, halt attacks on civilian areas and allow unhindered access to the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
The United States will continue backing the coalitionon Yemen, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, despite a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country and outrage over the kingdom in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
“The program that we’re involved in today we intend to continue,” Pompeo said, speaking from a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
The Houthis’ arrival in Sweden followed two major confidence boosting measures — a prisoner swap deal and the transfer of 50 wounded Houthi fighters from Sana’a to Oman for treatment.
Reacting to the news, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it was ready to play a role in the prisoner swap, expressing hope that the agreement would build confidence for a political solution to end the conflict.
“The ICRC has been asked to play its role as a neutral intermediary and provide technical support…it will be of utmost importance to be able to certify the will of each detainee to be part of the process,” Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC regional director for the Middle East, said in a statement.
Carboni had earlier said that the estimated number of Yemeni detainees “varies from 5,000 to 8,000.”
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 60,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.