Heavy Fighting in Hodeidah; Yemen claims dozens of Houthi casualties

Fighting centered on the southern part of the vital aid port

Heavy fighting erupted Saturday in the southern part of the vital Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The government claimed the Houthis launched an offensive and were pushed back out of the area. They claimed dozens of Houthi casualties were inflicted.

Hodeidah is materially the only port through which aid flows into northern Yemen, which is why the UN has gone to great efforts trying to keep a ceasefire more or less in place, fearing mass starvation if fighting damages or otherwise shuts the port.

For the most part it has worked, and Hodeidah hasn’t been the site of too many major battles. When they do flare up, however, as now, the fear is that they could rapidly get out of control.

The UN has tried to use Hodeidah as a basis for other peace overtures in Yemen. When fighting is ongoing, however, it tends to derail everything. In this case, new prisoner swap talks are on hold as neither side seems to want to negotiate while Hodeidah is facing combat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.