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Yemeni Houthi fighters foil Saudi-backed militiamen’s push for Hudaydah, inflict losses

Yemeni Houthi fighters foil Saudi-backed militiamen’s push for Hudaydah, inflict losses

Yemeni Houthi fighters foil Saudi-backed militiamen’s push for Hudaydah, inflict losses
December 19
03:58 2018

Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement says army soldiers and allied fighters from popular committees have managed to frustrate a large-scale offensive by Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Hudaydah, hours after a UN-brokered ceasefire started at midnight in the strategic port city.

Ansarullah, in a statement released on Tuesday, said Yemeni troops and their allies engaged in fierce clashes with Saudi mercenaries in the Hays district of the province, leaving scores of them killed and injured, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

The United Nations said on Monday that a ceasefire would take effect in Hudaydah, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana'a, at 3:00 a.m. local time (2400 GMT).

The truce was agreed at the UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden last week.

 The two warring sides have welcomed the ceasefire in Hudaydah, and said they would comply with it.

The truce is supposed to be followed by the withdrawal of Houthi fighters as well as pro-Hadi militiamen.

A prisoner swap, involving some 15,000 detainees, is also planned and a “mutual understanding” to facilitate aid deliveries to the southwestern coastal city of Ta’izz has been reached.

Delegates from the Ansarullah movement and Saudi-backed Hadi loyalists have also agreed to meet again in late January for more talks to define the framework for negotiations on a comprehensive peace settlement.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

This picture taken on November 22, 2018 shows Yemeni mother Nadia Nahari holding her five-year-old son Abdelrahman Manhash, who is suffering from severe malnutrition and weighing 5 kilograms, as she sits on a bed at a treatment clinic in the Khokha district in the western province of Hudaydah. (Photo by AFP)

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.

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