Over 70,000 Yemeni Families Flee Their Home in Hudaydah (+Photos)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Over 76,512 Yemeni families have been displaced from the province of Hudaydah, which has been in conflict for more than 3 months, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the killing and maiming of civilians, including children, in Yemen’s Red Sea city of Hudaydah, has soared since June, according to aid workers that warned the fighting was turning into a “war on children” as thousands have suffered life-changing injuries.
Save the Children said on Monday at least 349 civilians in Hodeidah have been killed over the last three months, making up over half the total deaths in the country.
Thousands of children have also lost their arms and legs, or the ability to speak or walk, due to explosive weapons, air strikes and landmines that have targeted populated towns and cities, markets and schools, it added.
“In the past few months we've seen a shocking spike in violence from an airstrike that hit a school bus full of children to a bombing near a hospital. Battles are being fought in densely populated urban areas and children end up trapped on the frontline,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the charity’s CEO, who visited Yemen this week, Independent reported.
“Attacks on schools and hospitals are up – safe spaces that should never be targeted. This is a war on children,” she added.
The latest offensive on the strategic port city is being led by Emirati-trained Yemeni troops together with the UAE army on the ground and Saudi air support. It was briefly paused in July to allow for peace talks which collapsed. Fighting renewed on 7 September.
The United Nations has warned that up to 250,000 of the city’s 600,000 residents are in danger of being killed or maimed. Meanwhile, aid agencies have identified close to 500,000 people that had fled homes in Hudaydah between June and August.
Nearly 23 million people, or two-thirds of the population, rely on humanitarian aid to survive. While more than 8 million people are on the verge of famine.
This week CARE International warned Yemen only had enough food to sustain its population for two to three months if the fighting over Hudaydah seals off the port.
The group urged world leaders gathering in New York for the UN General Assembly on Monday to “stand up for Yemeni children” and broker an immediate ceasefire.
Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, Emirati forces and militants loyal to Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, launched the Hudaydah offensive on June 13 despite international warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a war against Yemen since early 2015, claims that the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the fighters.
The Saudi-led coalition has, however, failed to make any major gains in the face of stiff resistance from Houthi fighters and their allied forces.