Saudi Warplanes Attack Yemen Port, Threatening Civilians

Damage to Port Hindering Aid Deliveries

by Jason Ditz, February 10, 2017

Throughout the two year Saudi invasion of Yemen, many of the biggest trends in the Saudi air campaign have been deliberately trying to soften up the civilian population in Shi’ite areas, either through targeting civilian infrastructure, or hindering humanitarian aid deliveries to the Houthi-held regions.

Today’s attacks centered on the northern port of Hodeidah, materially the last port in Houthi territory, further hindering the ability of the UN and other aid agencies to get badly needed humanitarian aid into the northern part of the country.

This has been a recurring problem, as early in the war the Saudis destroyed the main airport in Sanaa to prevent aid deliveries direct to the capital city, and forcing the use of the port at Hodeidah instead. This wouldn’t be so bad, if the port wasn’t being attacked by the Saudis intermittently, and a Saudi naval blockade has made any deliveries to the area very difficult.

UN aid coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said that the current UN focus is on getting some new mobile cranes into Hodeidah to help unload aid. Cranes at the port have been damaged in the past, and the hope is that the mobile units will be easier to move out of the way of such air campaigns.

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