Clashes reach residential streets in Yemen's Hodeida

Hannah Rogers
November 12, 2018

News of the planned reduction in aid to Saudi Arabia comes the same day as their opponents in the Yemen Civil War, the Houthi Rebels, fired an anti-ship missile into the Red Sea, according to multiple defense officials, a move that comes the same day the Houthi leader rejected the Trump administration's proposal for a ceasefire aimed at ending the civil war.

In Arab culture, the throwing of a shoe at someone is seen as a mark of deep contempt - and an insult - for the intended target.

"But I think the real pressure, is actions like the announcement that the USA would no longer be providing in-air refuelling of Saudi bombers, that is an important step". A commotion is heard off screen followed by Gaber moving his hands towards his face to deflect the incoming shoe.

Residents said they saw bodies of seven civilians killed in clashes in southern suburbs, with both sides using mortar shells, anti-aircraft guns and assault rifles in the fight for the Houthi-held city, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

The docks have been blockaded by the Saudi-led alliance since November 2017 over what the coalition says is arms smuggling from Iran to the Houthis.

Yemenis across the city have reported seeing snipers stationed on rooftops and rebel-run tanks firing artillery in Hodeida, home to the impoverished country's most important port.

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Another nine loyalist fighters were killed and their bodies taken to a hospital in government-held Mokha, south of Hodeidah, medics said.

United Nations agencies say some 14 million people are at risk of famine in the country-described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with the World Food Programme saying it will almost double food aid to the country to avert "mass starvation".

The Houthis were taken by surprise, he said, adding that the city is witnessing heavy battles and major advances by Yemeni forces.

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Fighting has broken out in the streets of Yemen's key port Hodeidah between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition forces. "It is terrifying", one Hodeidah resident said Sunday.

Saudi Arabia said in a statement that US assistance was no longer needed due to their own advancements in refueling.

A new round of peace talks to end the war, which has killed more than 56,000 people according to a recent estimate, was scheduled to take place in Sweden in November but had been pushed back to late December.

The Trump administration's move to cut off refueling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft also comes following criticism against the kingdom over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's consulate in Istanbul last month.

Critics of the Saudi campaign - including Democrats who won control of the House of Representatives in elections on Tuesday - have long questioned US involvement in the war, which has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and led to widespread starvation in Yemen since it began in 2015.

Yemen has been wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

But in his remarks last month, Mattis sought to distance the USA backing of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen from the killing Khashoggi, an event that he once again condemned, saying the two issues are "separate".

Other rights groups believe the toll may be five times as high.

US Welcomes Saudi's "Decision" to Independently Refuel Planes Engaged in Yemen War.

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