Middle East (IP)- The Saudi-led coalition announced on Friday said that it was extending a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen by one month, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malik said.

Iran PressMiddle East: A two-week ceasefire announced by the aggressive coalition led by Saudis that is battling the Ansarullah group in Yemen expired on Thursday without leading to a permanent truce.

"The coalition's command reaffirms that there is still an opportunity to focus all efforts in order to achieve a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire," coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said.

The Ansarullah movement ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014. They want a lifting of air and sea blockades imposed by the coalition to the regions they control before agreeing to a ceasefire.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructure.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy, and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month called for ceasefires in conflicts across the world to allow countries to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Yemen has reported only one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, aid groups fear a catastrophic outbreak should the virus spread among an acutely malnourished population in a country without adequate testing capabilities.

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