Yemen ceasefire expires, Saudi-led airstrikes resume
Supporters of Yemen's Southern Separatist Movement gather in the port city of Aden, as battles against Shiite Houthi rebels continue, on May 17, 2015. (AFP/Saleh Obeidi)
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Saudi-led coalition warplanes resumed pounding Houthi positions in the southern Yemeni city of Aden following the expiry of a five-day humanitarian cease-fire on Sunday night, eyewitnesses said.
The coalition fighter jets carried out overnight raids against the presidential palace and a Special Forces camp in Aden, two sites that are controlled by Houthi militants and allied troops loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the witnesses told Anadolu Agency.
The Saudi-proposed five-day humanitarian truce came to an end at 23.00 p.m. local time (2000GMT) on Sunday.
The truce started late on Tuesday with the aim of giving humanitarian organizations the chance to distribute aid to Yemenis affected by the conflict in the impoverished nation.
The resumption of the airstrikes came despite a call by the United Nations on Sunday for extending the truce for five more days.
United Nations Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, currently in Riyadh for a Yemeni dialogue conference, called on warring parties in the Arab country to renew their commitment to a cease-fire.
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have since sought to extend their influence southward to other parts of the country.
On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.
Riyadh says its air campaign comes in response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for military intervention against the Houthis.
Hadi fled to Riyadh in March after Houthi forces attacked his residence in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, from which he had hoped to reinstate his embattled presidency.