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Saudis Intensify Hodeida Offensive, as Clamor Rises for US to Stop Supplying Weapons

Saudis Intensify Hodeida Offensive, as Clamor Rises for US to Stop Supplying Weapons

Saudis Intensify Hodeida Offensive, as Clamor Rises for US to Stop Supplying Weapons
August 21
15:25 2018

HODEIDA, YEMEN — More than 15 Yemeni fishermen lost their lives and several others sustained injuries in Hodeida, western Yemen, on Sunday, when U.S.-Saudi airstrikes targeted their fishing boats off the Sawabi Islands, and Kadahah, south of the city.

A wounded fisherman in al Thwarah Hospital in Hodeida, one of the six survivors of a Saudi attack against boat #11201 Sunday, August 20, 2018. (MintPress News)

AbdulQader al Wadei, Head of General Authority for Marine Fisheries in the Red Sea told MintPress:

An iron boat owned by Ahmed Bin Ahmed Haieshah, a civilian based in Hodeida who has a number of boats, was targeted by warships after it left al Kadaha district in Khukhah, killing 12 fishermen; there are no survivors.”

Also, two Saudi warplanes struck a boat bearing the number 11201, near to al Madkoub Dhaher island, killing four fishermen and injuring six. The boat belongs to 40-year-old Yahya Mohammed Abdullah, a father to seven who lives in the city of Hodeida; four fishermen remained unaccounted for.

Since 2015, when the U.S.-Saudi-led coalition military campaign against Yemen began, 217 fishermen have been killed, 204 wounded, and four others missing, according to the General Authority for Marine Fisheries in its press conference held today in Hodeida.

The General Authority for Marine Fisheries said that the coalition attacks have destroyed 205 fishing boats in 70 operations launched during the past three years. The Ministry added that more than $ 5.5 billion is the total loss of the fish sector in the Red Sea through the end of last July.

 

A new escalation of the attack against Hodeida

These attacks come amidst an escalation of the attack against Hodeida, as the coalition mounted a new offensive in Duraihami, southern Hodeida, four days after laying a siege to the heavily-populated area.

Wounded and dead are lying in the courtyard of a mosque in al Duraihami, southern Hodeida as a result of indiscriminate shelling. August 20, 2018.  (MintPress News)

“We are trapped in our houses, we can not move anywhere, the city is being constantly targeted by airstrikes, rocket attacks, and artillery without discrimination,” 50-year-old Ali Qassem al Dreihemi said to MintPress in a phone call. “There are some people who have bled to death in the street, and no one dared to help them because of airstrikes that target passers-by, paramedics, and fleeing civilians on purpose; some corpses have decayed.”

Meanwhile, UAE Apache attack helicopters conducted aerial attacks on government buildings,  homes, farms, shops, mosques and health centers in the city, without safe corridors for civilians to flee. “We live in a state of terror during Tuesday; Amimah and Sa`eed are terrified. Somebody helps us,” a mother of three children sent a message via SMS to her brother in Sanaa.

The Ministry of Public Health and Population said in a statement to MintPress:

Dozens were killed and wounded, mostly children, women and the elderly. The coalition has also imposed a land and air siege on the city. It has been preventing the citizens’ cars and ambulances from transferring the wounded to Hodeida’s hospitals.”

While local authorities and humanitarian organizations are trying to cope with a severe shortage of food and medicines due to the U.S.-Saudi siege, the attacks have also crippled internet coverage across the region, making it almost impossible for residents to contact the outside world.

In prior, the Saudi-led coalition announced a military operation to seize the Duraihami District backed by air power, rockets, artillery and a ground offensive, as well as militia groups loyal to Yemen’s ousted former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. They claimed to take into consideration a fragile humanitarian situation to avoid civilian casualties

The bombing of fishing boats was among the dozens of massive attacks that targeted civilians this month. In one of the bloody attacks, U.S.-Saudi warplanes targeted a school bus in Dhahian, northwestern province of Sa’ada last week, leaving 40 children dead, using an American bomb.

On August 3, the coalition launched its initial salvo of airstrikes on a fish market and al Thwarah Hospital — 60 civilians were killed and 130 were wounded. Also, four fishing boats were targeted off of Hodeida’s coast inside of Yemen’s territorial waters, killing multiple fishermen.

 

Yemeni scholars and tribes call to stop selling weapons to Saudi-led Coalition

Yemeni scholars and tribes have called on all freedom-loving people worldwide, leaders, activists, and clerics, to raise their voices and fulfill their humanitarian and religious duties in the face of the Saudi-led coalition`s criminal acts against civilians in Yemen. In a statement released on Sunday, they held the United States responsible for the atrocities of the Saudi-led military alliance against civilians in Yemen, calling for Washington to stop selling weapons to Saudi-led coalition — weapons that have been used against innocents in Yemen in atrocities such as the recent school-bus attack.

The Saudi-led coalition claims the port of Hodeida is a lucrative source of revenue for the Houthis and was used in an attack against oil tankers. But Houthis deny these claims and have agreed to allow port revenue to be monitored by the United Nations if employee salaries are paid. They also suspended retaliatory attacks against Saudi-led coalition forces in the Red Sea for weeks in order to bring an end to attacks against Hodeida. But the coalition did not stop its attacks.

The Saudi-led blockade of Hodeida port over the last three years — which has prevented medical supplies, food, and humanitarian aid from reaching Yemen — has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the modern era.

Top Photo | A man, injured by an air strike at a fish market, is rushed to hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen August 2, 2018. Abduljabbar Zeyad | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News and local Yemeni media.

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Alexander Ionov

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