SUN 24 - 3 - 2019
Date: Nov 8, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
58 combatants killed in fighting for Yemen's Hodeida: medics
Agence France Presse
ADEN, Yemen: Dozens of combatants were killed as pro-government forces closed in on rebel forces in the heart of the Yemeni port city of Hodeida Thursday, hospital sources said.

Medics at hospitals inside the city reported 47 rebels had been killed in overnight ground fighting and air raids by the Arab coalition supporting the government.

Sources at hospitals in government-held areas on the outskirts said 11 soldiers had also been killed.

Arab coalition troops take key Hodeida road

SANAA: Troops from a U.S.-backed Arab coalition pounded Houthi rebel positions in Yemen’s Hodeida with airstrikes and a ground assault Wednesday, and now control a major road leading into the city, military officials and witnesses on both sides of the front line said. An Emirati-trained force known as the Giants, backed by Apache attack helicopters, secured an urban area along 50th Street, which leads to the city’s key Red Sea port facilities some 5 kilometers away, they added.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals or lack of authorization to brief journalists, they said that the Iran-backed rebels had been firing mainly from elevated and rooftop sniper positions, and have now resorted to burning tires to obscure the gunships’ view. Most civilians have fled the area, they said.

Dozens of fighters have been killed and hundreds wounded from both sides since a renewed coalition offensive on the city began five days ago, following calls by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for a cease-fire by late November. Witnesses said several civilians have been killed by shelling in residential areas. A Save the Children supported health facility in Hodeida came under attack Tuesday morning, damaging one of the pharmacies that supply life-saving medicines, the charity said in a statement.The first youngster was confirmed killed in the fighting Wednesday, with Save the Children telling AFP a 15-year-old had died of shrapnel wounds at a hospital in Hodeida. The group said shelling has also hit residential areas in Hodeida, where the lives of hundreds of thousands of people roughly half of them children are in danger.

The head of the U.N.’s food and agriculture agency and other groups say the conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, underlining how the international community is failing to end hunger.

Also Wednesday, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said it was closing its humanitarian project in the southern Dhale province due to security concerns amid the fighting there.

Besides Dhale, other active fronts include the provinces of Bayda, to the south and the Houthis’ northern strongholds of Al-Hajjah and Saada.

Rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi Wednesday acknowledged he was outnumbered, but appeared undaunted and vowing to never surrender even while appearing to admit to incursions by the coalition.

Houthi also described the U.S. cease-fire call as hypocritical, given that fresh fighting erupted almost immediately after it was delivered.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands, Sweden and Peru blocked a statement calling for an end to the war in Yemen and instead demanded a full-fledged resolution be adopted to bring warring sides to the negotiating table.

The three countries rejected the draft text proposed by China, saying it did not address their concerns about the dire humanitarian crisis.

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