Heavy fighting resumed Monday night in Hodeida, Yemen, between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition, which suspended its offensive on the port four days ago.
Residents of the city report that coalition planes have shelled rebel positions and that violent clashes are occurring about 4km from the port in the suburbs of the Houthi-controlled city.
More than ten air strikes were reported by these witnesses.
According to one resident, a missile was fired from the city center towards the “7-July” district where ground fighting is raging.
“The fighting is intensifying, with the sound of machine guns and mortar fire being one of the worst nights ever,” said Mustafa Abdo, a resident of the port.
The Arab coalition, which has been intervening since March 2015 in Yemen, ordered the suspension of its offensive against the port city on Thursday, under pressure from Westerners seeking a ceasefire in order to revive peace efforts.
In a statement released Sunday night, Houthi Revolutionary Supreme Committee leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi announced that Shiite rebels were stopping their drone attacks and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. and their allies in Yemen. He added that the movement was ready for a larger ceasefire if the military coalition led by Ryad “wants peace”.
Yemeni Minister of Information Moamer Al Eryani later reported that the Houthis had “fired a missile at Saudi lands,” adding that the missile had missed its target and had fallen into Yemeni territory. The Houthis could not be reached to comment on this information posted on Twitter.
Resumption of clashes in Hodeida comes as UN envoy Martin Griffiths strives to revive the peace process, after the failure of an attempt last September in Geneva, where the Houthis were not displaced.
The UN special envoy hopes to convene a conference for peace by the end of the year in Sweden.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia reaffirmed Monday his support for the efforts of the United Nations.
Several Western powers, which provide weapons and intelligence to the Arab states of the coalition, are now expressing more and more reservations about the conflict and are pushing for a ceasefire to support the efforts of the UN.
A Yemeni military official told Reuters on Monday night that the ceasefire would be implemented in Hodeida only after the vote on a draft British resolution at the UN Security Council. The text was due to be presented to the Council on Monday, but it is unclear when it will be voted.
Kuwait’s UN ambassador, Mansour al Otaibi, told reporters that he would table amendments because his country is dissatisfied with the text on “many points”. Some Council members feel that this is not the best time to vote for such a resolution, he added.
The project calls for a halt to clashes in Hodeida, stopping attacks on populated areas throughout the country and attacks on neighboring countries. It also calls for unhindered access for humanitarian aid and advocates for the injection of foreign currency into the economy via the central bank of Yemen.
Located on the Red Sea, Hodeida is the main port of Yemen, where most of the humanitarian aid goes to the Yemeni population….