Houthis breach truce in Yemen: coalition

– Saudi television reports Houthi leader Hassan Sharif killed in clashes

 RIAD, Saudi Arabia (AA) – The Shia Houthi militant group and factions supporting ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh has violated a UN-backed truce 897 times, Saudi Media reported Saturday.

According to a written statement from Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA, Houthis and supporters breached the truce 205 times on the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border and 692 times in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian television network Al Arabiyya reported that Houthi leader Hassan Sharafi who participated in the Yemen talks in Kuwait was killed during a clash along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border.

A new round of UN-brokered talks between Yemen’s warring factions began in July in Kuwait.

On Monday, the UN unveiled a plan for a 72-hour truce between Yemen’s warring parties, which went into effect at midnight Wednesday.

The UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said he received assurances from all sides that they would respect the terms of the truce.

Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing members of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies last March launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains in Yemen and restoring the country’s embattled government.

On Oct.13, the U.S. directly intervened in the conflict — for the first time — with a cruise missile strike on Houthi targets on the coastal province of Al-Hudaydah.