Saudi, UAE Launch Deadly Assault on Hodaida

Reports suggest that the likelihood  of civilian deaths is high.
Reports suggest that the likelihood  of civilian deaths is high.

Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in clashes and air raids around the Yemeni city of Hodaida following the collapse of UN-sponsored Yemen peace talks.

Saudi-UAE coalition forces launched an offensive in June to retake the strategic port city—the main gateway for imports of relief supplies and commercial goods—from Houthi fighters who have held it since 2014.

“Multiple sources have reported that dozens, if not scores, of people have been killed in the past 24 hours after Saudi-UAE-led coalition attacks,” said Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from neighboring Djibouti.

“In fact, one source said that there had been 60 attacks,” he said, noting that the situation is “definitely escalating in a fairly big way.”

He added that reports suggest the likelihood of civilian deaths is high.

“The Houthis say they [the civilians] were bombed by a series of [Saudi-UAE] strikes,” said Simmons.

Separately, hospital sources in Hodaida province told AFP that 84 people—73 Houthi fighters and 11 government soldiers—had been killed since the attempted peace talks in Switzerland were abandoned on Saturday. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the casualty figures.

  Humanitarian Crisis

Hodaida’s seaport was responsible for delivering 70% of Yemen’s imports, mostly humanitarian aid, food and fuel, before 2015.

The war in Yemen, the region’s poorest country, started in 2014 after Houthi forces seized control of Sanaa and began pushing south toward Aden, the country’s third-biggest city.

Concerned by the rise of the Houthi forces, the coalition launched a military offensive in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign aimed at reinstalling the ousted government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed in the war, a death toll that has not been updated in years and is certain to be far higher.

The UN says Yemen, which stands on the brink of famine, is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The coalition launched a major offensive to retake Hodaida in June.


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