Airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia pounded the Yemeni rebel held capital of Sanaa Tuesday. The new envoy from the United States to Yemen arrived there just hours prior to the ceasefire of five days following six weeks of war.
Looking to restores the exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a group of nations in the Gulf Arab region have been bombing the Houthi militia who are Iranian backed since March 26, as well as the allied army groups that are in control of much of the country.
Backed by the U.S., the Saudi led Sunni Muslim coalition worries that the Houthi rebels who are Shiite Muslim and backed by Iran will be a way for Iran to expand its sway in the region, with its huge wealth from oil.
Isamil Ould Cheikh Ahmed a Mauritanian diplomat said he arrived in Yemen to prepare for the Tuesday humanitarian truce and would jumpstart the stalled talks politically amongst the civil war factions in Yemen.
Sanaa residents have said that three airstrikes hit an army base where contingents aligned with the rebels were held up north of the city. Those airstrikes sent up a huge column of gray smoke that could be seen around the city.
In Aden, a port in the south, witnesses said airstrikes by the alliance hit Houthi positions while local factions maintained their fight against the rebels and across much of the south.
Residents of Aden said four people were killed during shelling by the Houthi and that four militiamen who are anti-Houthis and operating a tank died in an air strike by the Gulf Arab nations. One of the first friendly fire incidents to be reported since the Gulf Nation campaign started.
On Monday, Saudi forces and Houthis exchanged artillery fire along the rugged border between the two countries.
The ceasefire is set to go into effect at 11 p.m. local time or 4:00 p.m. EDT., which is programmed to allow medicine and food to be shipped into the blockaded country, that some say is facing a humanitarian catastrophe.