Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a this weekend to mark the first anniversary of the Saudi attack on the country. A number of top Shi’ite figures attended the rally and talked up next month’s planned peace talks.
It’s been an ugly year of war for Yemen, as the Saudi forces blockaded the country and invaded outright, vowing to reinstall former President Hadi’s government in short order. So far, they’ve retaken Aden and parts of Taiz, but the Shi’ite Houthis retain control of most of the country.
Abdel Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the militia movement, gave a televised speech on Friday saying he was hoping for peace to be brokered at next month’s talks, but warning they had to be prepared to confront further Saudi aggression.
The war has killed an estimated 6,200 people, over half of them civilians. Among the slain civilians, the overwhelming majority were killed in Saudi airstrikes. Between the strikes and the blockade, much of Yemen now faces a humanitarian crisis, and a war that the Saudis and most observers expected to last no more than a few months looks increasingly open-ended.
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