Saudi-UAE air raids tar­get Ye­men’s Hodei­dah

The Miracle - - Middle East - Source: Al-Jazeera

Saudi-UAE coali­tion air strikes on Ye­men’s Hodeida province have killed and wounded sev­eral peo­ple, med­i­cal sources said. A spokesper­son from the Houthi-af­fil­i­ated health min­istry said Tues­day’s at­tacks on the city of Du­rai­hami killed at least 13 civil­ians and in­jured 24 oth­ers. Doc­tor Youssef al-Hadri said that lat­est at­tacks hit a heav­ily pop­u­lated area, dam­ag­ing civil­ian in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and mosques. Hadri added that medics from the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were be­ing pre­vented from en­ter­ing the city. The ICRC for its part ex­pressed con­cern with re­cent de­vel­op­ments in the city and said it was still as­sess­ing the ex­tent of the dam­age. Fight­ing be­tween Houthi rebels and Ye­meni gov­ern­ment forces, backed by the Saudi-UAE coali­tion, along the east­ern out­skirts of rebel-held Du­rai­hami city has in­ten­si­fied in re­cent weeks as the two Gulf na­tions look to seize con­trol of the strate­gic province. Hodei­dah has been un­der the con­trol of the Houthis since 2014, along with other west coast ports and much of north­ern Ye­men. The city’s sea­port was re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing 70 per­cent of Ye­men’s im­ports - mostly hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, food and fuel - be­fore 2015. Yet, Saudi Ara­bia says that the Houthis, who re­port­edly gen­er­ate $30m to $40m a month in rev­enue from the port, are us­ing it to smug­gle in weapons from Iran. The war in Ye­men, the re­gion’s poor­est coun­try, started in 2014 af­ter the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels seized con­trol of the cap­i­tal, Sanaa, and be­gan push­ing south to­wards the coun­try’s third-big­gest city Aden. Con­cerned by the rise of the Houthi rebels, Saudi Ara­bia and a coali­tion of Arab states launched a mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in 2015 in the form of a mas­sive air cam­paign aimed at re­in­stalling the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Abd-Rabbu Man­sour Hadi. Ac­cord­ing to the UN, at least 10,000 peo­ple have been killed in the three­year war - a death toll that has not been up­dated in years and is cer­tain to be far higher. In re­tal­i­a­tion, the Houthis have launched dozens of mis­siles at the king­dom. Saudi au­thor­i­ties say over the past three years 90 bal­lis­tic mis­siles were fired by the rebels. Mul­ti­ple rounds of United Na­tions-bro­kered peace talks have failed to achieve any break­through.

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