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Despite declared halt to offensive, Saudi warplanes hit Hudaydah

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi-backed militants are pictured on Khamsin (fifty) street on the eastern outskirts of the port city of Hudaydah, Yemen, on November 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

At least nine people have been killed in western Yemen, despite a declared halt to the Saudi-led offensive that was meant to seize control of the strategic port city of Hudaydah.  

According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television network, Saudi warplanes bombed a residential building in the district of Hali in the Red Sea city on Friday, killing three women and wounding three others.

The aerial attacks came hours after four Saudi airstrikes hit a village near the city, killing six people and injuring several others.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-backed militants launched artillery attacks on the residential buildings in the district of 7 Yulio (July) in the city, causing severe damage to houses and private property.

On Wednesday, Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi halted their offensive under international pressure for a ceasefire.

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement said on Thursday that the pause in the Saudi airstrikes against Hudaydah was not submission to international pressure but a bid to buy time and reinforce the military strength for a fresh offensive.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have deployed about 10,000 new troops to Yemen's west coast after repeated campaigns to seize Hudaydah, which is seen as the main entry point for food imports and aid relief needed by millions in the war-torn country, were thwarted by Houthis and their allies in the Yemeni army.

The invaders have hit a stiff wall of resistance put up by the city's protectors who have pushed back the militants and mercenaries.

The Hudaydah offensive has sparked concerns over its impact on the civilian population as well as on humanitarian aid operations.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Yemen's former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthis.

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.

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