The Qatari regime had been attempting since Friday to mediate a rapprochement between the Houthi militias and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's forces, an informed source told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday. The Houthi allied themselves with the forces loyal to Saleh and have fought a devastating war against forces loyal to Hadi and his foreign backers.
Saudi Arabia responded to the incident with a blockade of Yemen.
"I call on our brothers and the Arab coalition to halt their aggression, allow access to medical and relief aid, open airports and we will turn the page", Saleh said in a televised speech.
More than 8,670 people have been killed and 49,960 injured since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict, according to the UN.
The Saudis want to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced into retreat and then exile by the fighting.
A coalition statement said the decision to "take the lead and to side with their people will free Yemen of. militias loyal to Iran".
Pointing to global law, Lowcock said, "Wars have rules, and they need to be complied with". Together these groups have been fighting against the Saudi-backed forces of ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi since 2015. Saudi Arabia and its allies claim that Iran backs and funds the rebels, something the rebels deny.
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Yemen's civil war has killed more than ten thousand people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.
In March 2015, warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and other allies began airstrikes on rebel positions in Yemen.
The Houthi rebels denounced what they described as "sedition", meaning Saleh's behaviour towards the Saudi coalition.
"I appeal to the leader Saleh to show more wisdom and maturity. and not to heed incitement calls", Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a speech on the group's Al-Masirah TV, adding that his group was ready to sit down for arbitration and abide by any ruling.
In a statement carried by the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath channel, the coalition said it was "confident of the will of the leaders and sons" of Saleh's GPC party to return to Arab fold.
The war in Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, killing at least 10,000 people and leading to widespread hunger and disease.