Over 35,000 Yemeni families flee war-torn Hodeidah: UN

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-17 01:18:51|Editor: yan
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SANAA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- More than 35,000 families have recently been displaced from Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah due to fierce fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Monday.

"Intense artillery shelling and airstrikes in Al Tuhayata and Zabid districts (south of Hodeidah) continue to trigger displacement," OCHA said on its Twitter account.

"By July 13, approximately 35,000 displaced households have been verified and 20,000 of them have received assistance," it said.

On June 13, the Yemeni government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition began an all-out offensive to retake the strategic port city.

Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates declared a pause in military operations inside the intensely populated Hodeidah city to support the UN envoy's peace efforts that aimed to convince the rebels to withdraw to avoid any military confrontations.

However, the coalition military operations against the rebels continued south of Hodeidah to secure the villages, districts and roads leading to the port city.

"Hodeidah and Saleef sea ports are operational," OCHA said, adding that "Hodeidah city is relatively calm following an announced pause in military operations by the United Arab Emirates earlier in the week with sporadic airstrikes and artillery shelling reported near the airport."

OCHA said roads leading to Hodeidah airport, seaport and the main road linking Hodeidah with the capital Sanaa (all those roads are under Houthis' control) remain blocked by sand and concrete barriers.

It said that most of the displaced families headed to Sanaa and Ibb province.

The coalition intervened in Yemen's conflict in March 2015 to roll back Iran-allied Shiite Houthi rebels and reinstate exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.