In a military offensive against the Shi’ite Houthis, Saudi Arabia, back by its Gulf allies air forces, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, launched an air campaigned last March 26, in an attempt to contain the Houthis and to restore to power President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled Aden to seek refuge in Riyadh.
They say, they have the support of Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan. Though Pakistan has yet to outline what support it can provide, with its defense minister saying that parliament will meet Monday to discuss a request from Riyadh for military soldier, aircraft and warships.
Heavy shelling together with street fighting has wrecked Aden for several days. The city is the last stronghold of support for the Saudi-backed Hadi, though it is vague whether the southern combatants are battling for local territory or his support.
Shortages in water, food and electricity have increased all over the country, in Aden particularly, where warfare has shut off ports and land routes to and from the city, which prompted UNICEF to issue a warning that Yemen may head towards a humanitarian disaster.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which placed the blame on the Saudi-led coalition for delays, on Monday told Reuters, that though Saudi Arabia had permitted for the shipment of aid on Saturday, the chartered planes have encountered problems which would likely cause the delay of its arrival until Tuesday.
Red Cross spokesperson. Marie Claire Feghali said, “We are still working on getting the plane to Sanaa. It’s a bit difficult with the logistics because there are not that many companies or cargo planes willing to fly into a conflict zone.”
The ICRC aims to transport by plane, 48 tonnes of medical supplies. It is also attempting to get its staff from Djibouti to Aden by boat, but the combat has convoluted efforts.
ICRC spokeswoman, Sitar Jabeen said, “Today fighting was taking place in Aden port so the security situation isn’t getting any better.”
In a pre-dawn air strike in the outskirts of the northern city of Saadah, home of the Houthi movement which spread from its mountain stronghold to take over the capital Sanaa six months ago, eight people were killed.
Casualties of the war included women and children, according to a Houthi spokesman.
The Red Sea port of Hodaida, was hit by air and coast military defense and targets on the outskirts of Aden. A bridge on the road south to Aden was hit, in an attempt to block the Houthis from sending reinforcements to their fighters in the city, local officials said.
The United Nations said on Thursday that more than 500 people had been killed in the two weeks combat Yemen, whereas the Red Cross has appealed for an immediate 24-hour ceasefire to be able to bring in aid into the country.