Families flee from houses in Yemen's Hodeidah due to Houthi shelling

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-03 22:41:41|Editor: yan
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ADEN, Yemen, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Many of the Yemeni families continued on Friday to flee their residential neighborhoods due to the sporadic shelling carried out by the Houthi rebels in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

A local government official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that "the families living in the southern part of Hodeidah received a new year amid continuing Houthi shelling on their houses."

"As a result of the shelling, many families decided to flee their houses in Hodeidah's neighborhood of Hays and headed to other places to live away from the shells," he said.

Over the past week, a number of families survived deadly attacks launched by the Houthi rebels in different government-controlled areas of Hodeidah, according to the official.

Residents in Hodeidah confirmed that the exchange of artillery shells between the two warring rivals was intensified at the beginning of the new year in Hodeidah.

They appealed to all humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in Yemen to urgently step in and work on protecting them and their families against the indiscriminate shelling attacks.

In October 2019, the United Nations started deploying cease-fire observers in Hodeidah, establishing five observation points near the military contact lines between the two warring parties.

The observation points are manned by liaison officers from both parties in accordance with the cease-fire agreement reached in 2018 in Sweden which also called on both warring sides to move forces away from ports and parts of the strategic city.

However, sporadic exchange of gunfire and artillery shelling continued to rock the strategic port city despite the presence of the cease-fire observers.

As the main Yemeni port city along the coast of the Red Sea, Hodeidah is the key lifeline entry of most Yemen's commercial imports and humanitarian aid.

The grinding war of more than five years has pushed over 20 million people to the verge of starvation.

The Iran-allied Houthis control much of Hodeidah while the Saudi-backed government troops have advanced to its southeastern districts.

The cease-fire deal in Stockholm was seen as the first phase toward achieving a comprehensive political solution to the civil war.