While the Saudis have denied using food as a weapon of war in Yemen, their actions tell a different story. On Tuesday and Wednesday, forces loyal to the Saudi-led, US-backed invasion seized a vital Red Sea mill east of Hodeidah.
The mill is being described as one of the biggest food stockpiles still under control of the Shi’ite Houthi movement. The UN estimated in September that it contained about 45,000 tonnes of food, and said the disruption of the mills would cause an incalculable human cost.
It’s not clear how much food was left in the mill at this point, as months of offensives against Hodeidah have limited the ability to import grains for the mill to process. Its loss, however, still is costly to millions of civilians living in Houthi territory.
That’s because consistently throughout the war, the Saudis have blockaded Houthi ports, with Hodeidah being the last such port. They have also refused to allow aid shipped to ports under their control to be passed on outside of “loyal” territories.