Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Plans in place to isolate Houthi fighters in Hodeidah

Plans in place to isolate Houthi fighters in Hodeidah

Yemeni troops backed by the Saudi and UAE-led coalition entered the airport compound in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah on Tuesday, June 19 after days of fighting with the Houthi rebels.

The ambassador explained that Houthis' failure to accept a political solution and repeated refusal to United Nations envoy's proposal to hand over the port left the Arab coalition with no option but to pursue a military solution to protect innocent Yemeni civilians and ensure a safe passage of aid shipments.

Fears of a humanitarian crisis in Yemen's main port city Hodeidah grew as fighting spilled into residential districts on Wednesday after Arab coalition forces seized the airport from the Iran-aligned Houthis. Saudi Arabia has provided air support, with targeting guidance and refueling from the U.S.

There were no casualties, it said.

Following the report, an Aramco official told Reuters that the company's facilities were "safe and are operating normally".

The escalation in fighting has wounded civilians, forced many to flee their homes and hampered humanitarian agencies, which are concerned about a potential cholera outbreak in the densely inhabited city as battles cut off water supplies. The offensive has been backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Among them were roadside bombs disguised as rocks that the research group has said bear similarities to others used by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and by other Iran-backed fighters in Iraq and Bahrain, suggesting at the least an Iranian influence in their manufacture.

More news: Arsenal to open Premier League season against champions Manchester City

On Tuesday, the UN's World Food Programme hurriedly unloaded three ships full of food aid - enough, it said, to feed six million people for one month.

The new development on the ground came hours after visiting UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths briefed the UN Security Council on his efforts to cease fire and resume peace talks.

"We hope that nothing awful happens in Hodeida", said Polyansky whose country holds the council presidency this month.

The United Nations has warned that an attack on the port itself could cripple shipments of desperately needed aid to the 8.4 million Yemenis facing imminent starvation. They say their movement reflects a popular revolt against state corruption and foreign meddling. The war has killed more than 10,000 people in all.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies - who accuse the Houthis of serving as a proxy force for Shia Iran - launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

A member of the Houthis' ruling politburo, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, denied the talks with Griffiths had focused on handing over Hodeidah "because this request is unrealistic".

Like this: