Saudi-Led Airstrikes in Yemen Resume After Truce Expires

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -

Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels resumed on Monday and fierce clashes were underway across the impoverished country after a five-day truce expired.

The cease-fire had been repeatedly violated, with both the rebels, known as Houthis, and Saudi-backed forces loyal to exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi trading blame for the continued violence.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes to convene a peace conference on Yemen in the near future, but wants the fighting to stop before he sends out invitations, his spokesman said.

Dozens of politicians and tribal leaders have been holding talks in the Saudi capital to discuss a way out of the crisis, but the rebels boycotted the meeting and Iran, which supports the Houthis, objected to the venue.

The coalition accuses Shiite-majority Iran of arming the Houthis as part of a larger struggle with Sunni Saudi Arabia for regional influence, something the Islamic Republic and the rebels deny.

The Riyadh dialogue is set to conclude Tuesday.