On Wednesday morning, 13 June 2018, the hostile Saudi-led coalition have launched an offensive against Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hudaydah in defiance of warnings of massive human casualties, by the UN and international rights organisations.
The assault is said to be the largestmilitary action, since the onset of the war in March 2015; and thus its catastrophic repercussions could lead to the murderof nearly 250,000 civilians.The Saudi-led military alliance is providing intense airstrikes on the city, which serves as a lifeline for aid delivery to the war-stricken impoverished Yemen.
The United Arab Emirateshad set a Tuesday deadline for the Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement to pull out of Hudaydah. The UAE troops stormed the Houthi positions, in the southern part of Hudaydah’s airport, alleging that the Houthis are using ittosmuggle arms.
The Wall Street Journal said that the US military is deepening its role in theHudaydah assault, in spite of UN warnings, by providing its Persian Gulf allies with intelligence on airstrike targets. It cited, “The U.S. military is providing its Gulf allies with intelligence to fine-tune their list of airstrike targets in Yemen’s most important port, one sign of the Trump administration’s deepening role in a looming assault that the United Nations says could trigger a massive humanitarian crisis.”
The United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other aid organisations have over the past days withdrawn their staff members from the port city in the wake of UAE threats. They expressed their concerns about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen.Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, told Reuters, “Under the international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict have to do everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they have access to the assistance they need to survive.”
Additionally, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised alarm over the impact of the attack on children in Hudaydah and beyond.It estimates that at least 300,000 children currently live in and around Hudaydah city; stating,“There are 11 million children in need of humanitarian aid in this war-torn country. Choking off this lifeline will have devastating consequences for every one of them.”
The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the catastrophic repercussions of the offensive. Its Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths tweeted, “I am extremely concerned about military escalation in #Hodeida & their humanitarian & political impact.”He also issued a statement, saying, “We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hudaydah that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties.”
Meanwhile, Saudi-led coalition sources said the alliance carried out 18 airstrikes on the outskirts of the Red Sea port of Hudaydah, a key entry for United Nations aid to war-torn Yemen and its 8.4 million civilians, who are already on the verge of famine.The conflict in Yemen has raged since March2015, when Saudi Arabia and eight other Persian and Arab allies launched their offensive military campaign. An estimated 600,000 people live in Hudaydah and thus are likely “to exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.”