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Yemen: Three days of air strikes on Houthi-controlled Hudaydah

February 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

People inspect the wreckage of a collapsed building after an air strike was carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The Saudi-led coalition has carried out a three-day intensive air strike campaign in Hudaydah which came to an end yesterday, Al Jazeera reported.

Dozens of Houthi fighters have been killed in the strikes, while thousands of civilians have been displaced.

The Houthis have claimed on open source networks that the Saudi-led coalition is either bombing Hudaydah or continuing its blockade. But Saudi Arabia reportedly lifted the air, land and sea blockade on Yemen back in November last year.

The former UN Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, successfully prevented Saudi Arabia from executing a deadly assault on Hudaydah, which is the only life-line left for civilians in Yemen. Despite this momentum by the UN, it appears Saudi Arabia is continuing its strikes on the port at a steady pace.

Houthis: 46 Saudi air strikes in 48 hours

Amnesty International’s 409-page report published recently warned that Saudi Arabia has “held up shipments of food, fuel and medicine”, cutting off the country’s northern ports. Using starvation as a tool is a violation of international law, the report added as it documented Saudi-led coalition air strikes against “funeral gatherings, schools, markets, residential areas and civilian boats”.

The Houthi group reported that the Saudi-led coalition also executed strikes in Saada, Ta’iz and Hajjah yesterday. The number of civilian deaths was not reported apart from damage to “public and private property”, insinuating some civilian casualties.

In early January 2018, the United Nations announced that cranes crucial for the import of cargo will be replaced as Saudi-led coalition jets destroyed them in 2015, drastically reducing the number of imports.

In February 2018, Saudi Arabia executed 46 air strikes within 48 hours in the Nehm district of Sana’a, more than 58 Yemenis were killed raising questions on legality.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Arab states to neutralise territorial threats posed by the Houthis, who currently control swathes of territory from northern Saada to Sana’a. It joined the civil conflict in March 2015 following a request from the internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the civil war, while more than 11 per cent of the country’s population has been displaced.

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