Clashes erupt in Hodeidah; first after Yemen ceasefire

Sanaa [Yemen]: Clashes erupted between the Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-UAE coalition forces on the outskirts of Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Friday, breaking the ceasefire truce reached by the two sides during the Sweden peace talks.

According to Al Jazeera, local residents of Hodeidah heard the exchange of gunfire and the sound of missiles between the two warring forces.

After a week of consultations between the two parties in Sweden, the Houthis on Thursday agreed to stop the fight and withdraw their troops from Hodeidah. The peace talks backed by the United Nations aimed at ending the four years of civil war in Yemen.

The crucial meet between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels was also attended by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths at Johannesberg Castle in Sweden.

During the meeting, Wallstrom urged both parties to bury their differences and reconcile to end the conflict, which has claimed over 10,000 lives, including women and children.

Griffiths, on the other hand, underscored that the two sides agreed to exchange prisoners as part of a confidence-building step. He also announced that both the warring forces would withdraw from the port city ‘within days’ and then from the city.