Published: Sat, November 17, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

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

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

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.

A military official in Hodeida confirmed seven civilians had died, without giving further details.

"Coalition forces will now permit the United Nations to oversee a Houthi medical evacuation, including up to fifty wounded fighters, to Oman ahead of another proposed round of peace talks in Sweden later this month".

A source in Yemen's pro-government military coalition, which is backed by a Saudi-led military alliance, said the Houthis had pushed back a large-scale offensive aimed at moving towards Hodeida port.

The Hodeida campaign has sparked fears of a new humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where 14 million people face the risk of starvation.

An air strike hit the port's entrance on Monday and killed three guards, a witness and Houthi media said.

The United States, Britain and France - three of the main arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia - have also called for an end to almost four years of conflict in Yemen, particularly in Hodeida.

Oil struggles to find footing after 7% fall
Meanwhile, cartel President Suhail Al Mazrouei said Wednesday that supplies will be curtailed as needed to balance the market. Nervous oil traders have not even been calmed by Saudi Arabian efforts to cut shipments by a half million barrels a day.

The Huthis, who seized Hodeida in a 2014 takeover that included the capital, on Tuesday accused the government of the attacks on the port via their Al-Masirah TV.

Almost 600 people have been killed since clashes erupted in Hodeida on November 1, ending a temporary suspension in a government offensive to take the city that began in June.

There have been global outrage over the murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and after Democratic and Republican politicians had threatened to take action in Congress next week over the refuelling operations.

In September, the United Nations attempted to hold peace talks between the warring parties in Geneva, however, the negotiations never took place, with the Houthi side claiming that the coalition had prevented them from leaving the country.

The United States has made a decision to halt refuelling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen. The Houthis, who had in the past rejected the proposal, said the coalition accepted the truce because of its heavy casualties and because it came under worldwide pressure to spare some 500,000 civilians inside the city the death and destruction that come with street-to-street fighting, which already began this week.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes had resumed air strikes late on Monday despite a lull in street battles between Iranian-aligned Houthi insurgents and coalition forces which had trapped families and endangered hospitals. But rights groups believe the toll may be five times as high.

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