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Offbeat Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port

05:25  14 june  2018
05:25  14 june  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

UN says 46 Ethiopians drown en route to Yemen; 16 missing

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Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition gathered near the outskirts of the western port city of Al Hudaydah, Yemen , on The air and ground attack by forces loyal to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was aimed at tipping the balance in Yemen ’s long-running civil war and driving

An Arab military coalition invaded Yemen ’s main Red Sea port on Wednesday, worsening what is already the world’s most severe humanitarian disaster by After years of war, eight million of Yemen ’s estimated 28 million people are at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations and aid

a truck that is driving down the street: Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition gathered near the outskirts of the western port city of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, on Tuesday. © Najeeb Almahboobi/EPA, via Shutterstock Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition gathered near the outskirts of the western port city of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, on Tuesday.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Arab military coalition invaded Yemen’s main Red Sea port on Wednesday, worsening what is already the world’s most severe humanitarian disaster by disrupting the delivery of food and other supplies to millions of Yemenis.

The air and ground attack by forces loyal to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was aimed at tipping the balance in Yemen’s long-running civil war and driving Iranian-backed rebels out of the port of Al Hudaydah. Although fighting appeared to be limited to the outskirts of the city on Wednesday, the prospect of sustained fighting there stands to produce one of the bloodiest urban battles of the war, deepening what is already a catastrophic humanitarian situation.

Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted

  Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted Saudi air defences on Sunday intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Jizan after being fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition said. Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jizan without causing casualties, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.Iran-backed Huthi rebels have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition that has fought the insurgents since 2015.

The death toll after attacks in the port city of Al Hudaydah, Yemen , on Thursday increased to at least 55 The Red Cross on Friday reported a near doubling of the death toll from attacks on a rebel-held Yemeni seaport under siege by a Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port .

Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port . The New York Times. United Nations officials and others said that hundreds of thousands could starve if the assault drags on, closing a vital gateway for relief supplies.

After years of war, eight million of Yemen’s estimated 28 million people are at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations and aid agencies.

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A protracted battle for Al Hudaydah could rival the fighting that ravaged Aleppo, Syria, or Mosul, Iraq, cities that have come to symbolize the brutality of warfare in the Middle East, according to humanitarian workers and diplomats. About a quarter of a million people in Al Hudaydah, a city of 600,000, are in danger of injury or death in an urban assault, the United Nations said.

The United Nations and the International Committee for the Red Cross withdrew most of their staff members from the city over the past few days.

But a battle there will have consequences far beyond the city, whose port is the main entry point for aid to the rest of the country.

Anti-rebel forces prepare for Yemen port attack despite UN alarm

  Anti-rebel forces prepare for Yemen port attack despite UN alarm Pro-government forces fighting Yemen's Huthi rebels are sending reinforcements towards the port of Hodeida, military sources said Tuesday, amid UN warnings against a high-stakes battle for the key aid gateway. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said his envoy Martin Griffiths has been locked in "intense negotiations" with the Iran-backed Huthis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to find a "way to avoid the military confrontation in Hodeida.

AL HUDAYDAH, Yemen — A pharmacist, a delivery man driving a motorcycle and a fishmonger. After an eruption of what aid groups have described as indiscriminate violence against civilians in Yemen ’s crucial Red Sea port city, one basic Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port .

Saudi-led forces begin attack on Yemen port city, ignoring UN warnings CNN. Fall of Hodeida will be major milestone in Yemen war gulfnews.com. The Latest: Hodeida Residents Told to Avoid Military Areas U.S. News & World Report.

“This attack risks more people dying, but it also risks cutting the lifeline of millions of Yemenis,” said Jolien Veldwijk, the acting country director in Yemen for the aid agency Care International. “Food imports already reached the lowest levels since the conflict started, and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. We are gravely concerned that parts of the population could experience famine.”

The Saudi-led coalition attacked the southern edge of Al Hudaydah by land and air on Wednesday. The Emiratis have signaled that they are planning a separate naval offensive to take the port.

The Houthi rebels, an armed movement with ties to Iran, said they had foiled a sea landing near the port. “The Saudi coalition has not advanced at all in Hudaydah,” Dayfallah al-Shami, a Houthi official, told Mayadeen television, a satellite channel based in Beirut, Lebanon.

The war between the Saudi-Emirati coalition and the Houthis is just one facet of the unrest that has splintered the impoverished country. In the south, Emirati-backed local forces, assisted by American drones, are battling the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda. A southern insurgency wants to secede from the north. And the country’s internationally recognized president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has no natural constituency in the country and instead lives in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen port despite US warnings

  Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen port despite US warnings A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched an offensive Wednesday on a key port in Yemen held by rebels, despite international warnings such an assault could be catastrophic. In the United States, which has supported the coalition, lawmakers in both parties issued stern warnings ahead of the offensive on Hodeida.

AL HUDAYDAH, Yemen — Fighting raged Saturday around the international airport outside the Yemeni port of Al Hudaydah as fighters with a Saudi-led Arab coalition pressed their four-day-old offensive to seize Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port . June 13, 2018.

Yemen ’s humanitarian crisis worsened on Wednesday when an Arab military coalition attacked the country’s main port . Hudaydah port is the main entry The civil war in Yemen has raged since 2011, following the Arab spring protests that ousted the country’s autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudis and Emiratis intervened in the war three years ago with hopes of a quick victory over the Houthis, whom they see an Iranian proxy. Instead, the two nations have been stuck in a quagmire.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been sharply criticized for the decision to carry out an air war in Yemen, keeping Saudi casualties low but killing thousands of Yemeni civilians. The airstrikes have crippled the country’s infrastructure and created the conditions for one of the world’s worst cholera epidemics in 50 years.

The stalemate with the Houthis, and the lack of a clear strategy or exit plan, have raised questions about whether Prince Mohammed and his ally, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the Emirates, have locked their nations in a costly and unwinnable conflict.

The assault on Al Hudaydah appears to be their effort to break the logjam and gain an upper hand in peace negotiations.

“The liberation of the city and port will create a new reality and bring the Houthis to the negotiations,” the Emirates’ state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Fighting resumes around key Yemeni port city Hodeida

  Fighting resumes around key Yemeni port city Hodeida Fighting around the Yemen port city of Hodeida has resumed as a Saudi-led coalition tries to retake it from Shiite rebels known as Houthis. Witnesses described heavy fighting to the city's south, near its airport.The Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's exiled government launched an assault on the port city of Hodeida (hoh-DY'-duh) on Wednesday. The Red Sea port is the main entry for food into a country already on the brink of famine.The biggest offensive of the years-long war in the Arab world's poorest nation has raised warnings from aid agencies that Yemen's humanitarian disaster could deepen.

Port , Yemen After Attack , Humanitarian Crisis Worsens , Get all the Latest news, Breaking headlines and Top stories, photos & video in real time about Elijah J. Magnier. humanitarian crisis worsens in yemen after attack on port .

Hudaida port officials commented on the Saudi-led coalition's blockade of the facility, Tuesday, amid UN warnings of a growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The Saudi coalition said the invasion was intended to be limited and swift. A military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Maliki, said the plan was to take control of the airport, seaport and the route leading to the capital, Sana. “We will not fight a street war with the Houthis in Hudaydah for the safety of civilians,” he told the Saudi-owned Al Hadath TV.

“We would like this to be over quickly,” Reem al-Hashimi, the Emirati minister of state for international cooperation, said by phone. “I think that is the aspiration of everyone. But we are also preparing for the long haul.”

But experts say that even a victory in Al Hudaydah is unlikely to significantly alter the underlying dynamic in Yemen. The Houthis still control the capital, Sana, as well as territory in northern Yemen, their ancestral lands.

“The battle for Hudaydah is not going to end the war,” said Gregory D. Johnsen, a resident scholar at the Arabia Foundation and one of the authors of the United Nations report on Yemen. “The Houthis are a major actor in Yemen. They have been fighting the Yemeni government in one form or another for years. There were times when they looked like they were eradicated but they have risen from the ashes time and time again.”

The United States has backed the Saudi-led coalition, but American military officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have warned their Arab allies that the assault could end in failure both militarily and politically, and result in further civilian suffering.

UN calls for key Yemen port to stay open

  UN calls for key Yemen port to stay open Fighting continues around the Red Sea port of Hudaydah which provides a lifeline for humanitarian aid.However, the council rejected a call by member state Sweden for an immediate halt to hostilities.

Yemeni political factions and militias have been fighting for control of Yemen , the Arab world’s poorest country, since power-sharing talks collapsed in 2015 and the Houthis ousted the internationally backed government of President Abdu Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port .

The conflict in Yemen has killed or injured more than 49,000 people and left 18.8 million requiring humanitarian aid. They included attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure; the use of landmines and cluster bombs; sniper and drone attacks against civilians; detentions; targeted killings

More and more Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress are criticizing the American role, accusing the Pentagon of being complicit in the bombing campaign.

Nine Senate Republicans and Democrats wrote to Mr. Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, expressing “grave alarm” that the offensive would worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country.

“The U.S. must now withdraw all its military support of the Saudi and U.A.E. military coalition,” Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California and a former Air Force lawyer, demanded in a separate email on Wednesday. “The U.S. already has blood on its hands in the Yemen crisis, we should not make them even bloodier.”

In the past few days, it appeared that American officials were resigned to the offensive going forward, and they began focusing on ensuring that an assault did worsen conditions on the ground.

“It seems as though the U.A.E. argued strongly that this is the game-changer, that they’re sensitive to the risks, and can get the job done quickly and restore port operations,” said Stephen A. Seche, a former United States ambassador to Yemen. “I guess the administration decided not to get in its way. We’ll find out pretty quickly if they were right.”

Yemeni troops, trained and financed by the United Arab Emirates, led the ground offensive on Wednesday, beginning around daybreak on the southern edge of the city. There were also airstrikes on two pro-Houthi neighborhoods in the same area, according to residents.

The Emirati-backed troops broke through defensive perimeters on the southern outskirts of town, according to the state news agency WAM, and some pushed as far as the perimeter of the airport. The reports could not be independently confirmed.

Saudi-led coalition seizes Yemen's Hodeidah airport: spokesman

  Saudi-led coalition seizes Yemen's Hodeidah airport: spokesman The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has seized control of Hodeidah airport and continues to attack pockets of Houthi resistance nearby, a coalition spokesman said on Wednesday. "We are now destroying Houthi fortifications near the airport," spokesman Turki al-Malki said in an interview with Al Arabiya television from Brussels.Residents said clashes at the airport have abated but coalition warplanes were bombing positions held by the Iran-aligned Houthis as the group dug in to defend Hodeidah, its sole port and the lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

[2018-06-13T05:23:47.182Z] The Arab-led coalition says the rebels have been smuggling arms through Al Hudaydah, including missiles that the Houthis have used to attack Saudi Arabia The United Nations and the International Committee for the Red Cross withdrew their staff members from Al Hudaydah

Yemen ’s humanitarian crisis is already the most severe in the world. Now an attack on a strategic port city by forces allied with the United States “It is the lifeline of the country,” said Lise Grande, the top U.N. humanitarian official in Yemen . “If you cut that port off, we have a catastrophe on our hands.”

A commander of one of the Emirati-backed infantry units, Abu Zara’a al-Muharami, said that they were awaiting orders to move toward the airport and then to the seaport, their final objective.

Aid workers who have remained in Al Hudaydah said the center of the city remained mostly quiet.

The Houthis reinforced their defensive positions, deploying armored personnel and combat vehicles on the city streets, residents said. Mr. Shami, the Houthi official, said his forces had burned 11 military vehicles belonging to the Saudi alliance.

The Emirates said Wednesday night that four of their soldiers had been killed.

The United Nations, which had been frantically trying to unload two shiploads of food aid before the hostilities broke out, was setting up distribution hubs for emergency relief and food packets in the event of large civilian evacuations from the city. The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to meet on Yemen on Thursday.

The Saudis and Emiratis claim that the Houthi rebels have been smuggling arms through the port of Al Hudaydah, including missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia.

A United Nations team of monitors said in a recent report on Yemen that their findings did not support those allegations, concluding that it was more likely that weapons were being smuggled across land borders.

The operation in Al Hudaydah began while Washington’s attention was still focused on the summit meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

It was not immediately clear what role, if any, American military advisers would play in the campaign.

Since 2015, the United States has provided the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen with air-to-air refueling, intelligence assessments and other military advice. The New York Times reported last month that United States Army commandos were helping to locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launching sites that Houthi rebels were using to attack Saudi cities.

Yemen rebels vow to fight on after Hudaida airport defeat

  Yemen rebels vow to fight on after Hudaida airport defeat Yemen's Houthi rebels have vowed to fight on after pro-government forces seized Hudaida airport from them on Wednesday, in a major step towards retaking the port city following a week-long battle. Rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi called for reinforcements to repel the advance of the Saudi and UAE-backed government forces, after ongoing fighting left nearly 350 people dead."We will face all of the incursions on the ground. Our determination will never be dented," he said via the rebels' Al-Masirah news outlet.

A senior UN official has called for parties involved in the war in Yemen to allow "sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access" for the millions of Yemenis

The Pentagon insists that all of its military aid is noncombat assistance, such as advising the Saudi Air Force on adopting bombing practices that kill fewer civilians. But at the same time, the defense contractor Raytheon is courting lawmakers and the State Department to allow it to sell 60,000 precision-guided munitions to the Saudis and Emiratis, in deals worth billions of dollars.

American advisers do not give direct or indirect approval on target selection or execution of bombings against Houthi rebels, Pentagon officials say. Rather, they give advice on targeting procedures and facilitate checks of a list of “no strike” buildings, like mosques and marketplaces.

Yemen’s civil war began in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring protests that toppled the country’s longtime autocratic president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Divisions over power sharing gave way to military conflict, and competing forces now hold separate areas of the country.

The Houthis, who are from northern Yemen and represent one of the country’s major political constituencies, swept south three years ago and seized control of Sana. Soon after, they stormed Al Hudaydah.

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates intervened militarily, funding and training Yemeni forces opposing the Houthis.

Most Yemeni analysts and diplomats view the war as a battle of political supremacy, not religion. The Houthis, as well as several other Yemeni factions, belong to a Shiite sect indigenous to their country and different from the one followed by most Iranians.

The Saudis and Emiratis say they want to help restore Yemen’s territorial integrity. But whatever happens in Al Hudaydah, it is unlikely to do that.

“It’s a very messy and challenging situation,” Mr. Johnsen, the Yemen scholar, said. “You have multiple Yemens and multiple wars. You have a sectarian war that has been laid on top of a civil war. The country has been broken and broken again. I’m not sure that anyone can put the country back together again.”

Yemen rebels vow to fight on after Hudaida airport defeat .
Yemen's Houthi rebels have vowed to fight on after pro-government forces seized Hudaida airport from them on Wednesday, in a major step towards retaking the port city following a week-long battle. Rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi called for reinforcements to repel the advance of the Saudi and UAE-backed government forces, after ongoing fighting left nearly 350 people dead."We will face all of the incursions on the ground. Our determination will never be dented," he said via the rebels' Al-Masirah news outlet.

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