Airstrikes, clashes hit Hodeida despite cease-fire

Airstrikes, clashes hit Hodeida despite cease-fire

Air strikes and fierce clashes shook the outskirts of Yemen's rebel-held Hodeidah on Saturday night, pro-government sources and residents said, despite the UN-brokered ceasefire.

Local residents said the fighting continues while the sound of explosions can be heard in the city's southern and eastern neighbourhoods.

He said seven rebels were captured during an attack on Al-Durayhimi, about 20 kilometres south of Hodeida city.

In comments published Saturday on the rebel-run Saba news agency, the Huthis accused pro-government forces of shelling residential neighbourhoods in Hodeida city.Thursday's ceasefire accord has been seen as the most significant step towards ending the devastating conflict in Yemen, where more than 14 million people are on the brink of starvation.

Also agreed during the talks was a prisoner swap of some 15,000 detainees, while there was "mutual understanding" regarding aid deliveries to Yemen's third city Taiz - under control of loyalists but besieged by rebels.

A pro-government military official said that there were sporadic clashes, adding that a fire erupted in one of the factories in the east of the city due to strikes on Sunday night.

Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have massed on the city's outskirts.

Speaking to the UN Security Council on Friday, Griffiths called for the creation of a strong monitoring mechanism for the fragile truce in the city.

Third, the Chinese envoy said that the United Nations should continue to play a leading role in mediation and food aid, and that the Security Council should keep up its political support of the peace talks and urge regional countries to continue to provide constructive assistance.

Diplomats said Guterres may propose a surveillance mechanism comprising 30 to 40 observers.

"Last year, the United Nations were feeding three million people a month, this year it's eight million, next year it needs to be 12 million, that's a mark of the deterioration of the situation", he said. It is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis facing starvation.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by Houthi rebels, who toppled the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said on Saturday that the Houthis bowing to the political process in Yemen confirms that the military strength, political will, the administrative and economic effectiveness and support of the Arab coalition as an effective weapon to force the militias to accept peace and end the coup.

At least 10,000 people have already died in the four-year conflict, the World Health Organization says. Some rights groups believe the actual toll to be far higher.

Related Articles