By Murad al-Arifi and Mohamed al-Samei
Yemen’s Aden-based government has accused Houthi rebels of violating a ceasefire that came into force late Monday night in the western Al-Hudaydah province.
Government spokesman Mamoun al-Mehmaji told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the Houthis had attacked government troop concentrations -- with machine-guns and artillery -- in Al-Hudaydah’s regional capital.
“If the Houthis continue to violate the ceasefire, we will have no choice but to respond to the source of fire,” al-Mehmaji said.
Houthi-linked media outlets, for their part, blamed government forces for breaching the truce.
Yemen’s Houthi-linked Al-Masirah television channel reported Tuesday that government forces had carried out an “infiltration operation” in Al-Hudaydah’s southern
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A UN-backed ceasefire went into effect midnight Monday in Al-Hudaydah, which is home to several strategic Red Sea ports.
The truce between the warring camps was clinched last week during UN-sponsored peace talks in Stockholm.
In a related development, the Yemeni army on Tuesday claimed to have shot down an explosive-laden Houthi drone in the eastern Maarib province.
According to the army-linked September.net website, the drone was downed somewhere between Maarib’s Harib and Al-Jubah directorates.
The same website went on to assert that the drone was of Iranian manufacture. It did not provide any further details.
Houthi spokesmen, meanwhile, have yet to comment on the website’s claims.
Most of Maarib is currently controlled by Yemeni government forces, although the Houthis control some parts of the province.
Yemen has been dogged by conflict since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing the government to take up temporary residence in the coastal city of Aden.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia and several of its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
While the Saudi-led coalition has succeeded in wresting some territory back from the Houthis, the rebel group remains firmly ensconced in Sanaa and in several other parts of the country.