Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

150 killed in battle for Yemen's Hodeida as global alarm grows

150 killed in battle for Yemen's Hodeida as global alarm grows

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned the destruction of the Hodeida port could trigger a "catastrophic" situation in a country where 14 million people are at risk of starvation.

New well-trained army battalions arrived in Hodeidah and will join the next anti-Houthi military assault in order to liberate the strategic Red Sea port city, the commander said.

Hodeida port came under attack late Monday for the first time since June, when government troops supported by a Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to take back the city from the Iran-backed Huthis.

Aid groups fear for the safety of hundreds of thousands of people living in Hodeida - and for millions of others dependent on its port for what little food and humanitarian aid trickle into impoverished, blockaded Yemen.

The developments came after the offensive on Hodeida by pro-government forces and the Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, appeared to stall.

Yemen's internationally-backed government and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused the Houthi rebels of using Hodeidah's port to smuggle Iranian weapons.

Residents and government military sources have reported rebel snipers stationed on rooftops in civilian streets in eastern Hodeida, a few kilometres from the port on the western edge of the city.

Residents reported on Tuesday that the fighting had slowed overnight, and rebel media did not report any new fighting.

The visit comes as the kingdom faces a torrent of worldwide criticism over the murder of Saudi insider-turned-critic Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Adorable photos of the royal family leaked
The pic, and several others like it, are the spitting image of Prince Harry's current full-bearded look. Clarence House released two new images Tuesday to mark Prince Charles' 70th birthday on November 14.

Critics of the Saudi campaign have always been questioning U.S. involvement in the war, in which more than 10,000 people have been killed, over 2 million displaced and has spread starvation in Yemen since it began in 2015.

The United States has chose to halt refuelling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen.

"We are not hearing explosions like we have for the past two weeks".

United Nations mediator Martin Griffiths - whose efforts to host negotiations in Geneva in September failed - met with Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani in Riyadh on Monday for talks on reviving the peace process, Saudi Arabia s state news agency reported.

The alliance accuses Iran of smuggling arms to the Houthis through Hodeida Port. Tehran denies the charges.

The United States, Britain and France this week called for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen and the resumption of negotiations to end the war.

Hodeidah is the most important and only point of entry for food and basic supplies to Yemen's northern provinces controlled by the Houthis, including the capital Sanaa.

In a statement released by its embassy in Washington on Friday, Saudi Arabia said it had made a decision to request an end to USA aerial refuelling for its operations in Yemen because it could now handle it by itself.

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