Roundup: Yemen's warring sides clash in Hodeidah, 8 killed

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-19 01:43:46|Editor: yan
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ADEN, Yemen, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Armed confrontations between Yemen's pro-government forces and the Houthi rebels left eight people killed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Thursday, a military official told Xinhua.

The local Yemeni military official, who asked to remain anonymous, said that "the area of Kilo16 in Hodeidah's eastern part witnessed violent armed confrontations between the pro-government forces and the Houthi rebels."

The source said that the armed confrontations resulted in the killing of five Houthi rebels and three pro-government army soldiers in addition to wounding several others from both sides.

Heavy weaponry including artillery shells and mortars were used during the armed confrontations that ferociously raged between the two warring rivals in Hodeidah, according to the source.

Military leaders of the two warring sides in Hodeidah exchanged accusations over sparking the ongoing armed confrontations in the country's western port city.

The pro-government forces said in a statement that "the Houthi militia launched a large-scale offensive in an attempt to advance and take control over the positions of the joint armed forces in Kilo16 area."

The Houthis suffered heavy losses during the offensive that was aborted by the joint armed forces, said that statement revealed by the pro-government Giants Brigades.

On the other side, the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels blamed the pro-government forces for "indiscriminately targeting a number of residential neighborhoods and houses in Hodeidah with mortar shells."

The armed confrontations came four days after the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), which includes representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi group, resumed negotiating sessions to implement Stockholm's Peace Agreement in Hodeidah.

It also occurred following a number of meetings held between the UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and the political leaders of the two warring rivals to discuss implementing Hodeidah's agreement.

On Monday, the United Nations said in a statement that Yemen's warring parties agreed Monday on "new measures" to reinforce the cease-fire deal and troops withdrawal from the port city of Hodeidah.

Representatives from both Yemeni warring parties met on Sunday and Monday aboard a UN ship on the Red Sea for resumed discussions on the implementation of a stalled troops withdrawal from Hodeidah as agreed in a deal reached in Stockholm in December last year.

Hodeidah is the main Yemeni port city on the Red Sea and key entry of most Yemen's commercial imports and humanitarian aid.

The over four-year grinding war has pushed more than 20 million people to the verge of starvation.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels control much of Hodeidah while the Saudi-backed government troops have advanced to the southeastern districts.