Iran-backed rebels say they "regretted the absence of a clear and transparent response" from Saudi Arabia to their own ceasefire initiative, a day after the Saudi-led coalition declared Ramadan ceasefire in the poor Arab country.

Yemeni supporters of Houthi rebels brandish their weapons as they rally in capital Sanaa to protest against Saudi-led coalition's intervention, on January 27, 2022.
Yemeni supporters of Houthi rebels brandish their weapons as they rally in capital Sanaa to protest against Saudi-led coalition's intervention, on January 27, 2022. (AFP)

Yemen's Houthi rebels have said that they "regret" that Saudi Arabia has not given a "clear" reaction to their ceasefire offer, but said they were open to "any positive response".

The Houthi rebels had announced on Saturday a three-day truce with the Saudi-led coalition, a day after they launched a wave of cross-border drone and missile strikes on Saudi targets.

The coalition did not comment on the Houthi ceasefire but launched air strikes on Yemen just hours after the rebels announced it.

But late on Tuesday, as Riyadh was about to host talks on the seven-year conflict in Yemen — discussions which the Houthis refused to attend — the Saudis too announced a ceasefire from Wednesday morning and peace talks during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

READ MORE: Saudi-led coalition declares Ramadan ceasefire in Yemen

Rebels seek end to siege 

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Houthis said they "regretted the absence of a clear and transparent response" to their own truce initiative, but affirmed that they would welcome "any positive response" from the Saudis.

The Iran-backed rebels reiterated repeated declarations that there will be no resolution to the conflict without the "lifting of the siege" on Yemen.

They added that they reserved the right to take whatever "political and military measures" are deemed necessary.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to prop up the internationally recognised government after the Iran-backed Houthis seized the capital Sanaa the year before.

Since 2016, the coalition has enforced an air and sea blockade of rebel-held territory in Yemen.

The Yemen war has killed hundreds of thousands of people directly or indirectly and displaced millions, creating what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

READ MORE: Yemen's Houthis announce three-day ceasefire after Saudi attacks

Source: AFP