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UN welcomes Houthi halt to Saudi attacks

Shiite Houthi tribesmen hold their as they chant slogans weapons during a tribal gathering showing support for the Houthi movement, in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday Sept. 21, 2019. Yemen’s Houthi rebels said late Friday night that they were halting drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, one week after they claimed responsibility for a strike that crippled a key oil facility in the kingdom. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

CAIRO, Sept 22, (AP): The UN envoy for Yemen says the Houthi rebels’ initiative to halt attacks on Saudi Arabia “could send a powerful message of the will to end the war” in Yemen.

Martin Griffiths’ comments Saturday came hours after the Houthi announcement, and a week after the rebels claimed a strike that crippled a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia.

Griffiths called for “taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric.” Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen since 2015. That conflict has killed tens of thousands of people. The US and the Saudis blamed the Sept 14 attack on Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels. Tehran denies any responsibility.

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