Decisive battle looming in Yemeni Hodeida

Report (Debriefer)
2020-02-13 | Since 3 Year

The UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement between the Yemeni internationally-recognized government and Houthi group is about to get buried in the few coming days, if not hours.

After one or more than one year of interchanging shells of different weapons in the Red Sea city of Hodeida and trading blames for violations, the pact is now proving the lack of mutual confidence from the very beginning.

While chair of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA) has been constantly warning against the deal's collapse, a looming long-prepared battle seems to be decisive and fiercer than ever, as it would stop only with a final victory of a certain party.

This battle would pit joint forces from the Arab coalition, Republic's Guards, Salafist Giant Brigades and Tehami Resistance against Houthi forces.

In the last ten days, Houthi senior leaders have paid intensive visits to Hodeida and held many meetings, indicating the arrangements made by the group to fight a battle they hope to be like that of Nihm.

The joint forces seem to have received directives from the coalition command to get well-prepared for a "boon-break" battle they want to be final, particularly with their troops at Hodeida city's fringes after they took control of some of the governorate's districts in the last two years.

Hodeida people, however, are deeply worried of a new fighting.

"We can no longer afford further damage, displacement and tragic humanitarian conditions," some civilians told Debriefer.

In 2018, with battles raged at suburbs of Hodeida city after the arrival of coalition-backed joint forces in some nearby districts, tens of thousands of the Yemeni western governorate's residents found themselves forced by fierce fighting – under artillery and rocket shelling from land and aircraft bombing from sky – to flee death to other governorates like Sana'a and Aden, where they have lived miserable conditions.

The Red Sea governorate has the three strategic ports of Salif Ras Isa and Hodeida that see the arrival of 80 percent of relief assistances meant to all Yemeni governorates and oil tankers to Houthi-held heavily-populated areas.

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