Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have launched a “vast offensive” to take full control of the country’s strategic western city of Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious bombardment campaign against its southern neighbor.
Hadi loyalists said in a statement on Friday that they had begun a military operation, claiming that they had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana'a.
The statement further alleged that pro-Hadi forces were progressing from all fronts with the support of the Saudi-led military coalition.
The report came on the same day that a girl lost her life and nine other civilians lost their lives when Saudi artillery rounds and mortar shells rained down on the 7th of July neighborhood in Hudaydah city.
Yemeni army soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees also targeted the positions of Saudi mercenaries in the Nihm district of Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sana’a, inflicting heavy losses on them.
Additionally, a woman was killed and two others were injured when Saudi forces launched a salvo of artillery rounds and mortar shells at residential areas in the Razih district of the same Yemeni province.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.