SANAA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Sunday they are willing to halt drone attacks if the Saudi-led military coalition ends “aggression,” just three days after a Houthi drone strike on a Yemeni government military parade.
At a press conference in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea said Thursday’s drone attack on the al-Anad military bases “came in response to the continuing military aggression and blockade by the coalition.”
“If the aggression stops, we will stop all our legitimate military operations… we are with the peace option,” Sarea said.
He said his group is producing more “locally developed combat drones.”
The rebel group also announced a fresh drone attack on Sunday on a Saudi military base in the Saudi border city of Jizan. There was no comment yet from the Saudi side on the rebels’ claim.
Thursday’s rebel drone strike on the Yemeni government military parade in the southern province of Lahj killed six senior military leaders, including the military intelligence chief Mohammed Daley Tammah.
The escalation came amid a fragile cease-fire between the Saudi-backed government and the Iranian-backed rebels in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.
The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths last week briefed the UN Security Council that “both parties, the government and Houthis, have largely adhered to the ceasefire in the Hodeidah governorate that entered into force on 18 December, 2018.”
Griffiths said his team will continue to cement the fragile cease-fire and move forward to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement.
However, the Yemeni rival forces continued trading accusations over violating the cease-fire deal reached in Stockholm, Sweden last month.
The Houthis have controlled much of the country’s north since late 2014, while the government controls much of the country’s south.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition in Yemen against the Houthi militia since March 2015, in order to reinstate the exiled Yemeni government.