News ID: 234086
Published: 0214 GMT November 11, 2018

Clashes reach residential streets in Yemen's Hodeida

Clashes reach residential streets in Yemen's Hodeida

Battles for control of Yemen's Hodeida reached residential streets on Sunday, as the Houthi fighters mounted fierce resistance to Saudi-led forces, military sources said.

Fears for civilian safety have been rising since November 1, when Saudi-led forces renewed an operation to take Hodeida, AFP wrote.

Saudi-led forces entered residential streets in eastern Hodeida Sunday, according to a Saudi-led military official. Houthi fighters entrenched in the streets and positioned on rooftops battled to keep Saudi-led forces out of a neighborhood located between two major landmarks in Hodeida, the city's main hospital and vegetable market, both essential to the daily lives of civilians.

Yemenis across the city have reported seeing snipers stationed on rooftops and Houthi-run tanks firing artillery in Hodeida, home to the impoverished country's most important port.

Residents south of the site of Sunday's clashes said they could hear gunfire and shelling throughout the night.

"We had three people from our neighborhood hospitalized over the weekend for shrapnel wounds," said Marwa, who asked that her name be changed.

"We're really tired. It's not safe. We have no money. This time no one is leaving. We can't afford it, and it's too dangerous."

Saudi Arabia and its allies first launched an offensive to take Hodeida in June, sparking an exodus from the densely populated city.

The operation was temporarily suspended amid UN efforts to hold peace talks, which failed to materialize. The United Nations is now pushing for talks by the end of the year.

Hodeida's docks, while under blockade, were not yet impacted by the fighting, according to a local official.

Hodeida is a vital lifeline for Yemenis across the war-torn country, as the majority of imports and humanitarian aid enter through its port. Around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine and many more are dependent on international aid, according to the UN.

Hodeida has been blockaded by the Saudi-led alliance since November 2017.

More than 400 people have been killed in 10 days of clashes in Hodeida.

The Saudi-led coalition has been blacklisted by the United Nations for the maiming and killing of children, including an attack that killed at least dozens of children south of Hodeida.

The United States on Saturday said it halted a controversial refueling arrangement for coalition aircraft engaged in Yemen.

The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the war since 2015. Other rights groups believe the toll may be five times as high.

The conflict has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis and pushed the country to the brink of famine.



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