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Yemen's Houthis Declare Two-Week Halt of Military Ops in Red Sea - Official

© REUTERS / Abduljabbar Zeyad/File PhotoA soldier walks at Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen May 10, 2017
A soldier walks at Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen May 10, 2017 - Sputnik International
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DUBAI (Sputnik) - The Defense Ministry of the government of the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement declared a two-week suspension of military operations in the Red Sea after a recent attack on Saudi oil tankers, the Houthis' Supreme Revolutionary Committee head Mohammed Ali al-Houthi wrote in a statement published on Twitter Wednesday.

"The truce, which was welcomed by the Defense Ministry, began at 12:00 a.m. [local time, 21:00 GMT] on August 1 and will last until Wednesday night, August 15. It can be extended in response to reciprocal steps of the US-Saudi coalition and its allies. We have announced this initiative in an appeal to [the government of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi] to halt military operations at sea for a certain period as well with the possibility of extension," al-Houthi said.

READ MORE: Saudi-led Coalition Destroyed Yemeni Missile Launch Site

Last week, the Houthis attacked two Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea close to the West coast of the country, slightly damaging one of them. The Saudi authorities in response suspended the oil transportation across the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden until the security situation in the region improves.

Oil tanker - Sputnik International
Houthis Target Saudi Oil Tanker Off Yemen’s Coast
The conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthis has been ongoing since August 2014. The conflict further escalated after the Saudi-led coalition came into conflict in March 2015. The operation against the Houthis, dubbed Decisive Storm, was supported by Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, which were then joined by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Sudan.

Saudi Arabia supports the ousted Hadi government, which was toppled in a series of uprisings in 2014 and 2015 by the Houthis, after which Hadi fled to Riyadh. The coalition has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, with the Houthis reportedly counterattacking and launching a series of ballistic missiles and drones into Saudi Arabia and attacking coalition warships. The war-torn country is now divided into several factions, including the Houthis, who control the capital of Sanaa, the Hadi-led government, the so-called Southern Transitional Council, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula* and Daesh (ISIS)*.

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