Fighting Rages on in Yemen

A man walks on the rubble of a house destroyed by an air strike in the Bait Rejal village west of Yemen's capital Sanaa April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Intense fighting continued across Yemen on Tuesday, including in the hard-hit Yemeni city of Aden.  This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that hundreds have died since the start of the conflict.

An airstrike targeting a military installation near the city of Ibb, 100 miles south of the capital Sanaa, hit a nearby school, killing at three students according to the Houthi’s al- Maseerah television network.

To the south, Reuters reported that Aden residents said Houthi rebel forces and their allies had reached the perimeter of the city’s main port, but the scene was relatively calm on Tuesday.

In an interview with the British broadcaster BBC, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen said that Aden had become a “ghost city”.

Aden “is full of armed people from different groups fighting. This is a big city and nothing is functional,” Robert Ghosen said.

A Saudi-led coalition is seeking to reimpose both stability and the internationally recognized leader, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled to Riyadh last month.  The Houthis, largely believed to be backed by Iran, overtook Sanaa last September and have been pressing southward into Aden over the past several days.

Saudi Arabia compiled a coalition of at least 10 nations, mostly Arab states, to stop the Houthis advance.  The rebels have continued their advance despite the airstrikes.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed in the violence, including children, continues to rise.  The WHO says that more than 540 people have died in the conflict over the last two weeks and nearly 2,000 have been injured.

“More than 540 people have been killed and some 1,700 others wounded by the violence in Yemen since 19 March,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said on Tuesday.

UNICEF reported that at least 74 children are known to have been killed and 44 children maimed so far since the fighting began on March 26.  The UN Children’s Agency said that 100,000 people have left their homes as a result of the violence.

“Children are paying an intolerable price for this conflict,” UNICEF Yemen Representative Julien Harneis said on the organization’s website. “They are being killed, maimed and forced to flee their homes, their health threatened and their education interrupted. These children should be immediately afforded special respect and protection by all parties to the conflict, in line with international humanitarian law.”

As the violence rages on, Yemenis and foreigners-alike are struggling to leave Yemen as limited options exist to leave the country.  Several countries have arranged flights to pick up civilians caught in the violence, with India alone evacuating 2,500 of its civilians in the last couple of days.

The United States has not implemented an airlift of its own to evacuate the nearly 300 Americans who remain in the country but were alerting them of other countries evacuation plans.

“Citizens who choose to seek foreign government assistance in leaving Yemen should only do so if they can safely make their way to the point of embarkation and have received confirmation that there is space available. Even if assured there is space aboard transportation, U.S. citizens should be aware that there is no guarantee that they will be permitted to board the transport, or may have to wait an indefinite period until they can do so,” the State Department said.

Garret Pustay
World News-Politics Contributor
World News-Politics Contributor at The Atlas Times.

Avid follower of international news, with a particular interest on the Middle East. A frequent commuter between New York and the Middle East.

Twitter: @garretpustay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *