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All bets are off

Dec 17,2018 - Last updated at Dec 17,2018

The ceasefire that was brokered in Stockholm between the legitimate Yemeni forces and the Houthi rebels in Hodeida Port city is officially scheduled to take effect today, but judging by the fierce fighting still raging between the two sides, the fragile truce may not hold after all.

Until this point in time, all bets are off on whether the official date for the start of the truce can actually be met. The ceasefire was meticulously brokered by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, amidst signs that the warring parties have reached a stage where neither side can be projected to win the fighting.

Reports of starvation amongst the people on both sides of the fence must have driven both parties in the conflict to the bitter conclusion that the continuation of the war would be only at the expense of the Yemeni people, with no victor in sight.

Under the truce reached in Sweden last week, the two sides are supposed to withdraw their forces from the strategic port city, allow the opening of humanitarian lines to the country and set the stage for a political solution and a lasting reconciliation between the two camps.

The fate of Yemen, of course, remains controlled on one hand by Iran, which supports, aids and abets the Houthis, and on the other by the Arab coalition, led by Riyadh.

Surely, after four years of bloodshed, destruction and starvation, the two sides must have reached the point where only an immediate end to the war can create the foundation for reasonable compromises between the warring sides.

There are solid reports that Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Yemeni conflict are more than amenable to a political compromise. The rest lies in the hands of Tehran, which is behind the proxy war on the side of the Houthis and has yet to demonstrate that the fighting in Yemen is a losing war for it as well.

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