Outbreak prompts Saudi-led ceasefire in Yemen

Airtsrikes hitting Yemen's capital Sanaa just days ago, but there could now be a pause in the conflict as a result of the coronavirus.

A nationwide ceasefire in response to the global outbreak went into effect in Yemen on Thursday (April 9).

It's stirred hope for an end to the five-year-old war that's pushed millions to the brink of famine.

A Saudi-led coalition fighting against Yemen's Houthi movement announced overnight it would halt military operation for two weeks, a move in support of UN efforts to end a conflict that's killed more than 100,000 people.

The Houthi leadership has yet to announce whether the Iran-aligned movement, which controls Sanaa and most major urban centers in Yemen, would follow suit.

If so it would be a major breakthrough in peace efforts - the first since late 2018.

The coalition said its move aims to facilitate talks for a permanent truce, motivated in part to avoid a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus, though so far no cases have been reported in Yemen.

The conflict, widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been in military stalemate for years.