On Wednesday, fighting intensified between Yemen’s Houthis and the Saudi-backed forces of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the port city of Hodeidah, military sources from both sides told Xinhua.
The clashes took place in al-Shab, a village in Hays district in southern Hodeidah. Residents said tanks, artillery, and heavy machine guns were used. The heavy fighting caused many residents to flee the village. So far, neither side has reported casualties.
The Houthis control most of Hodeidah, and Hadi’s forces control districts to the east and south of the city. A ceasefire for Hodeidah was brokered by the UN in December 2018 to bring more aid into the country through the port city for Yemen’s food-insecure civilian population. But the ceasefire rarely holds, and the Houthis often report violations by the other side.
Last week, clashes between Hadi forces and the Houthis were reported in Hodeidah’s northeast.
Since Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in 2015 to reinstate Hadi, with full support from the US, the civilian population has suffered immensely. Besides an indiscriminate bombing campaign that regularly targets civilians, the US-Saudi blockade on the country has caused severe food shortages.