Several days of fighting in Yemen’s northern Sadaa Province continue apace, and despite multiple ceasefire announcements the sectarian clashes show no sign of letting up.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry announced it had negotiated a ceasefire on Saturday, and was clearly dead by Sunday. The UN announced another, separate ceasefire to begin Monday, but Salafist leaders report continued shelling against Damaj.
The fighting is between Salafist Sunnis and the Shi’ite Houthi tribes, with the Houthis accusing the Salafists of bringing thousands of foreign jihadists into the province for a planned attack. The Salafists maintain that the jihadists are just “students” who came en masse to study theology in rural Yemen.
The Salafists share close ideological ties with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), while the Houthis have had an active secessionist movement in the area along the Saudi border for years. The fighting between the two sides has killed over 100 people in the past five days, and wounded untold scores of others.