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Yemen port attacked by Saudi backed forces

In an effort to capture the northwestern port of Hodeidah in Yemen, Saudi-coalition backed forces put a quarter of a million people at risk. General Mohsen Al Khosrof of the Yemeni Army told reporters that, with the help of navy and air force support, Saudi coalitions attacked the south-eastern part of the city of Hodeidah. According to United Nations, approximately 250,000 people can be killed in a large scale offensive against the city. Currently the city is under the control of Iran-backed Houthi rebels. It is also considered to be a lifeline for the war-stricken population of the country. Almost 70 percent of the humanitarian aid coming into Yemen enters through the port of Hodeidah. Such a strategic position of the city provides the Houthi rebels with critical access to the sea. 

Mark Lowcock, UN Humanitarian Chief, stated that if at some point in time the port of Hodeidah fails to operate effectively, at least seven million people will be adversely affected for not receiving the humanitarian aid. The coalition that includes UAE has been in a stalemate with the rebels after an offensive that began in March 2015. The Houthi rebels control most of the northern parts of the country while the Yemini government backed by the coalition forces controls the southern parts of the country. The recent offensive form the coalition can also risk plunging the entire country into chaos as it endeavors to snatch control from the Houthi rebels. A takeover of the strategic city will provide a huge benefit to Saudi Arabia and its allies. 

Foreign powers like the UK and most of the European countries have always opposed an offensive. Earlier the United States opposed it also; however, quite recently it has inclined in the favor of the offensive against the Houthi rebels. Such an offensive, in the future, can be inimical to wide scale bloodshed that can give risk to a humanitarian crisis. A peaceful truce between the rebels and the Yemini government is what every stakeholder should try at the moment. 

  • Yemen
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Rebels
  • Houthi
  • Hodeidah