Intense fighting reported in Aden
SAUDI-LED air strikes against suspected Houthi fighters in Yemen have continued for the 15th day, with intense fighting occurring in the southern city of Aden, where rockets have reportedly landed on houses.
The World Health Organisation says at least 643 people have died and more than 2,200 have been injured in the Yemeni conflict since March 19. Tens of thousands of families have also been displaced and WHO has warned that the situation in the Arabian Peninsula nation is critical. The fighting in Aden pits Houthi forces and their allies against local armed groups loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies accuse Iran of arming the Houthi fighters but Iran denies the allegations. In a speech yesterday in Tehran, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for an end to the air strikes in Yemen, saying countries in the region should work towards a political solution.
“A great nation like Yemen will not submit to bombing. Come, let us all think about ending war. Let us think about a ceasefire…Let us prepare to bring Yemenis to the negotiating table,” he said. Against this backdrop of escalating tensions, the first medical supplies have started arriving in Aden: the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said they have made it to some of the city’s hospitals.
It said a boat carrying 2.5 tonnes of medicine had docked in Aden, the first shipment the group has delivered to the city since the fighting there escalated. For its part, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a surgical team also arrived by boat on Wednesday in Aden.
“It’s nearly catastrophic,” Marie Claire Feghali, ICRC’s spokesperson in Yemen, told Reuters news agency. “Shops are closed, so people cannot get food, they cannot get water.
There are still dead bodies in the street. Hospitals are extremely exhausted.”
The Saudi military spokesperson said on Wednesday the situation in Aden port was not safe and causing delays in the delivery of aid.
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