Yemen: Fierce confrontations renewed in Hodeidah

The Stockholm agreement is fading fast as fighting resumes

FILE PHOTO: A coast guard walks past a ship docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen January 5, 2019. Picture taken January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo
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Fierce confrontations flared up between Houthi militia and joint forces backed by the Arab Coalition in the Al Duraihimi area of Hodeidah on Friday night, a joint forces spokesperson said.

“The Houthi fighters launched an attack targeting sites controlled by divisions from our forces in eastern Al Duraihimi at 10pm this evening using all kinds of weapons including artillery and tanks, but our forces were fully prepared for the sudden attack,” said Colonel Wathah Al Dubaish from the Arab coalition.

“Troops from the third brigade affiliated with Al Amalikah and a battalion from Al Zaranik took rapid action to push them back.”

“Five Houthi fighters were killed and one fighter arrested and an amount of portable weapons belonging to the Houthis were seized by our forces, meanwhile the confrontations were still raging up to midnight on Friday” Colonel Al Dubaish added.

Colonel Al Dubaish told The National that Friday's attack was the second in 24 hours.

“On Thursday morning the rebels launched an attack targeted at the centre of Al Duraihmi where dozens of their fighters were detained … in a bid to release them but the attack was foiled by the joint forces which were able to kill 13 of the Houthi fighters.”

The Houthi militia also launched an attack on Friday afternoon which targeted sites controlled by the joint forces in the Al Faza area of southern Hodeidah to cut the main supply route which links the port city with the southern districts and links the whole province of Hodeidah with Aden and Taez, Aseel Al Sakladi, director of Al Amalikah media centre said.

“The Houthi rebels have been intensifying their attacks over our sites not just in the port city of Hodeidah. They have been repeatedly attacking suites controlled by our forces and forces from the National Resistance which are led by Major General Tariq Saleh, the nephew of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh” Mr Al Sakladi said.

These developments come as the UN and the international community struggle to convince the Houthis to implement the Stockholm agreement signed in December 2018, which would see both the Houthis and Arab coalition forces leave Hodeidah in the hands of an independent force.