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Coalition troops in action in Yemen. Photo: WAM Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: The Yemeni government has dismissed an offer by Iran-allied Al Houthi militiamen to end war in Yemen as a “bubble”.

On Friday, the extremists unveiled what they called a peace initiative offering to halt all their drone and missile attacks on neighbouring Saudi Arabia in exchange for ending a campaign by a Saudi-led military alliance against them.

The offer came a week after Al Houthis claimed an attack on Saudi oil facilities that disrupted the kingdom’s oil production. Saudi Arabia and the US blamed the attack on Iran.

“As everybody knows, this is not the first time Al Houthis have launched such bubbles,” spokesman for the Yemeni government Rajeh Badi said.

“It seems there is an international side or a UN agency that advised Al Houthis to set out this bubble to achieve some tactical goals,” the official told Asharq Al Awsat, without elaborating.

Yemen’s UN envoy Martin Griffiths has welcomed Al Houthis’ offer, saying it could “send a powerful message” to end the years-long war in Yemen.

Badi accused Al Houthis of always failing to keep promises.

“The coming days will be enough to add this initiative to the long list of Al Houthi lies,” he said.

Saudi Arabia earlier this week made a cautious response to the offer, saying it will judge the Yemeni militia by deeds not words.

Violence has dragged on in Yemen in recent days. The government has accused Al Houthis of repeatedly violating a UN-brokered truce pact in the port city of Hodeida.

Al Houthis meanwhile, claimed that an alliance air strike killed on Tuesday 17 civilians in the southern province of Dhale. There was no immediate comment from the coalition.

Yemen’s conflict erupted after Al Houthis unseated the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and overran parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, in December 2014.

In 2015, the Arab alliance led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, intervened in Yemen in response to a request from the Hadi government after Al Houthis advanced on the southern city of Aden, the country’s provisional capital.