Yemen’s Houthi rebels and their allies violated a recent 48-hour truce more than 260 times, according to a Wednesday statement issued by Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Ankara.
On Saturday, a Saudi-led Arab coalition declared a 48-hour ceasefire in Yemen.
The truce, the coalition said at the time, would be automatically extended if its terms were respected by the Houthis and allied forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On Monday, the Saudi-led coalition announced the end of the truce, which, it said, had been subject to multiple breaches by the Houthis and their allies.
“The Houthi militia doesn’t care about the future of Yemen or about the humanitarian crisis the country is facing,” the embassy declared in its statement.
“It only understands the language of violence,” it added.
“The Houthi militia’s truce violations… are a continuation of its ongoing efforts to undermine Yemen’s legitimate government,” the statement read.
The embassy went on to assert that the Houthis and their allies were carrying out “brutal and cruel” actions in Yemen that violated international conventions and charters.
“According to the [Saudi-led, anti-Houthi] Arab coalition in Yemen, Houthi rebels and their allies violated the truce 260 times, 205 of which occurred inside Yemeni territory while 55 came in the form of attacks on the Saudi cities of Jazan and Najran,” the embassy noted.
Six previous attempts to reach a ceasefire in Yemen likewise came to naught, including a three-day truce in October that collapsed soon after coming into effect.
Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Shia Houthi militia overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.
The conflict escalated in March of last year, when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a major air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled Saudi-backed government.
Thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the conflict to date — more than half of them civilians — while another three million have been forced to flee their homes.
*Reporting by Ayse Sarioglu; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg