Saudi Arabia led coalition bombed Yemen dozens of times since it announced a ceasefire last week answering the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for a global truce to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. According to reports, the Gulf coalition launched a series of airstrikes in Yemen in a week since it announced ceasefire days ago. The United Nations had called for a global truce for the first time on March 23 fearing that hostilities will hamper its fight against the deadly disease.
The United Nations Security Council met for the first time on April 9 since the outbreak began where it appealed to all the warring parties to adhere to the global ceasefire in order to help the global agency deal with the contagious virus effectively. As per reports, the Houthis dismissed the Gulf coalition's offer for a truce as a ploy and clashes have continued since. Media reports suggest that Yemen have been hit by 26 raids over the last week since the ceasefire was declared. Yemen's capital city Sanaa has been the worst affected by the airstrikes, which is currently under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The Yemen Data Project, a war monitoring group said that the bombardments in the region have increased 50 folds in March compared to the month before. The watchdog said air raids in Yemen have been worst since November 2018. Mark Griffiths, the UN Envoy for Yemen on April 16 said that talks between the Gulf-backed government and the Houthis were making very good progress further suggesting that there cannot be a more timely moment for both the parties to silence their guns and come to a peaceful, political agreement.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected over 2.33 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,60,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Currently, the United States, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom are the most affected countries in the world with a recorded death toll of 14,000 and above.
(Image Credit: AP)