At least five Yemeni civilians, including three women, have lost their lives in new Saudi airstrikes after the Saudi side said the peace talks in Kuwait came to an end without a deal.
Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported on Friday that the fatalities came after Saudi fighter jets struck a residential area in Yemen’s Hajjah Province.
The fresh aerial raids come after the UN-mediated negotiations between Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and Saudi-backed loyalists to the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, ended inconclusively in Kuwait.
“The negotiations have completely ended,” said Abdullah al-Olaimi, deputy director of Hadi’s office and a member of the former government team to the UN-brokered talks being held in Kuwait.
“We have participated and exercised patience for the sake of our people and we end the negotiations for their sake,” Olaimi said on his Twitter account.
A truce meant to facilitate the talks came into force on April 10, but Saudi air strikes have continued almost on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, Ansarullah movement and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party have reached a consensus to set up a governing council to run the conflict-ridden country, with a focus on fighting the Saudi aggression.
“The aim is to unify efforts to confront the aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies,” said the Houthis and their allies, adding that the 10-member council is tasked with managing “state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security” based on the country’s constitution.
Disappointed with the role of the Saudi side in the peace efforts, Ansarullah and its allies say both the Hadi government and Riyadh lack the political will to promote the diplomatic process aimed at settling the conflict in Yemen.
The Houthi fighters took state matters into their own hands after the resignation and escape of Hadi, which threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country, where an al-Qaeda affiliate is present.
The impoverished Arabian Peninsula country has seen relentless military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with internal sources putting the toll from the bloody aggression at about 10,000.
The Saudi military aggression is aimed at crushing the Houthis and allies and restoring power to Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.