Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s Houthis Resume Talks, But Fighting Also Escalates

Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthi movement have resumed indirect peace talks on Tuesday, and the UN is hoping to enhance ongoing deescalation efforts. The ceasefire that the Saudis declared last week, however, seems to be crumbling.

The Houthis never formally joined the ceasefire in the first place, saying they didn’t consider it a complete ceasefire so long as Saudi warships were enforcing a naval blockade of their coast. The two sides have continued to engage in fighting over the past few days since the ceasefire took effect.

Indications are that the heaviest fighting was, as ever, in Marib Province, with more fights reported in al-Jawf and Nihm. Jawf has been a popular target for Houthi counter-attacks, while Marib has been one of the front-line provinces in the war for years.

Some were accusing the Houthis of taking advantage of the ceasefire, though the Houthis have been very upfront about not considering a ceasefire to be in effect so long as the ports are all closed and Yemen is unable to import aid at regular levels. With the first coronavirus cases popping up in Yemen, the lack of aid is going to become a big issue soon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of