Last Update 15:56
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Port still running in Yemen's Hodeida after air strikes

AFP , Tuesday 13 Nov 2018
Hodeida
Yemeni pro-government forces gather on the eastern outskirts of Hodeida as they continue to battle for the control of the city from Houthi rebels on November 10, 2018 (Photo: AFP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2276
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2276

Two Saudi-led air strikes hit the main entrance to the rebel-held port of Hodeida but the docks were still operating normally on Tuesday, the port's deputy director told AFP.

The vital docks, through which 80 percent of Yemen's commercial imports and nearly all UN supervised humanitarian aid pass, has been at the centre of international concern about a new drive to recapture Hodeida which the Yemeni government launched with Saudi-led support on November 1.

Monday's strikes, in which port staff said four rebels were killed and four wounded, was the first to hit the docks in 12 days of intensified bombardment and ground fighting in the Red Sea coastal city of some 600,000 people, many of whom have fled or now fear a siege.

The main gate "was the target of air strikes... but the port is operating normally," the port's deputy director Yehya Sharafeddin told AFP by telephone. He said three guards had been wounded.

Four other port employees told AFP that one strike had killed a rebel commander and three of his guards, while a second strike had wounded another commander and his guards.

They said a single-storey guardroom had taken a direct hit from the strikes.

Rebel-controlled media reported two air strikes but made no mention of casualties.

Saudi-led coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki had no immediate confirmation of the strikes but told AFP he would check.

Residents of Hodeida reported that the city was calm on Tuesday after a lull in bombardment during the night as Western governments stepped up calls for a halt to the offensive to pave the way for peace talks.

British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt held talks on Monday with both Saudi King Salman and his powerful son and heir apparent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"The heavy fighting stopped on Monday evening. During the night we heard sporadic gunfire but then situation seems stable todat," one Hodeida resident told AFP by telephone.

"We are not hearing explosions like we have for the past two weeks."

International concern about damage to the port has been heightened by widespread malnutrition after four years of war that has placed some 14 million Yemenis at risk of famine, according to UN agencies. Many more are dependent on food aid.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday of a possible "catastrophic situation" if the port is destroyed.

"The fighting must stop, a political debate must begin and we must prepare a massive humanitarian response to avoid the worst next year," he said.

Hodeida has been controlled by the Houthi Shiite rebels since 2014 when they overran the capital Sanaa then swept through most of the rest of the country.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year and pro-government forces have since recaptured nearly all of the south and much of the Red Sea coast.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.