UN human rights officials are warning that the situation in Yemen’s third city of Taiz is growing increasingly dire, with two solid weeks of fighting between the Shi’ite Houthis and pro-Saudi government forces leaving nearly 100 civilians killed.
53 of the civilians were killed by Saudi airstrikes, while the rest were killed in back-and-forth fighting and Houthi shelling against targets in pro-Saudi held districts. The direct deaths may only end up a fraction of the overall toll, however, as they have pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse.
Only 7 of Taiz’s hospitals were even still open to see patients, out of 21 in the city. Those few were quickly overwhelmed, with most of their supplies in short supply because of the ongoing naval blockade. The UN reported that the health care system in Taiz is now on the brink of collapse, and there are already reports of a rising dengue fever outbreak.
The problem of shortages at hospitals is true throughout Yemen at this point, as the blockade has severely limited food and medical aid entering the country in the past several months. Such crises are inevitable with the shortages, and are being compounded by Saudi offensives into these major cities.