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Yemen ‘peace initiative’ still stands despite coalition airstrikes, Houthi rebels say

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Wednesday their offer to halt all attacks on Saudi Arabia still stands despite new airstrikes allegedly launched by a Arab-led coalition fighting the insurgents.

Twenty-two civilians, including children, were killed in air raids earlier this week in Dhale and Amran provinces, according to the United Nations.

The strikes came after the Houthis offered to halt drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. “The initiative is still on, and we are patient,” Hisham Sharaf, the Houthis’ foreign minister, told AFP. “If they want peace, we are for peace. If they don’t want peace, they know how we can hit them hard.”

The rebels have claimed responsibility for the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations that knocked out half of the OPEC kingpin’s production and sent shock waves through world energy markets.