While the fate of millions of Yemeni civilians are up in the air with the fate of the Saudi-led invasion of the nation’s main aid port, Hodeidah, fighting may be a more immediate threat to the 200,000-plus civilians living in the city itself.
Fears for the safety of Hodeidah’s residents are growing rapidly, because the invading forces, having taken over the airport over the last few days, are advancing into residential areas. The rebel Houthis have been digging in to try to slow the advance of the Saudi-led forces as the UN tries to negotiate a deal.
Hodeidah is the last port held by the Houthi rebels, and subsequently the lone source of food and medical aid for 8.4 million people living in Houthi-held northern Yemen. The UN has warned the fall of the city could precipitate a famine, and has been in talks trying to prevent this invasion.
UAE offers presented the invasion of Hodeidah as the “beginning of the end” for the rebellion, over three years into the conflict. The Houthis, however, are presenting themselves as fighting to the death to prevent the city falling.