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Coronavirus cease-fire offers pause in Yemen war

Despite a cease-fire among the parties to Yemen's civil war, the Saudi-led coalition announced it had downed three Houthi drones.
A soldier walks at the site of a Houthi missile attack on a military campís mosque in Marib, Yemen January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Owidha - RC2OJE90YU7S

Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to their first nationwide cease-fire in four years, part of an effort to fend off calamity should the war-ravaged nation controlled by rival governments be struck by the coronavirus pandemic. No COVID-19 cases have been documented in Yemen so far, but the World Health Organization has warned of an imminent explosion in the number of cases.

The acceptance of a cease-fire by the domestic protagonists and their regional backers was in response to the UN secretary-general’s March 25 call for an immediate end to hostilities. This week marked the fifth anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention against Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

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