Amnesty International has accused Yemen's Houthis group of using the 22 May hospital in the western city of Hodeidah for "military purposes", the move risked “devastating consequences” for the hospital’s staff and patients.
The coastal city, 220 kilometers west of Sanaa, has been battling for six days, as joint Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition are seeking to wrest control of the city and its strategic harbor from the grip of the Houthis, which take control of it since late 2014.
Amnesty said the Houthis recently stationed fighters on the roof of a hospital in the May 22 district of the Red Sea port city.
The organization warned that the move risked “devastating consequences” for the hospital’s staff and patients. The presence of Houthi fighters on the hospital’s roof violates international humanitarian law."
According to an official at the hospital, Houthis had forced medical staff out of the May 22 Hospital, named after the neighborhood where it is located."
According to information received by the "Debriefer" news gency earlier that the joint forces are trying to incursion into a number of residential neighborhoods east and south of Hodeidah, having tightened its grip on the city from the three sides except for the north of the city, which is still under the control of the Houthi forces.
Hodeidah port city is of strategic importance to both sides, it has seaport, from which most of the aid and commercial materials are transferred to millions of Yemenis.
Yemen has been racked by armed conflict which broke out after the Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government in late 2014.
The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led military coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015.
In June, forces of the internationally recognized government with support from a Saudi-led military coalition launched an offensive to retake Hodeida from the Houthis. The government and the coalition are accusing the Houthis of using Hodeida seaport to smuggle Iranian weapons including ballistic missiles, hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid and threaten international navigation. They, therefore, think that retaking the harbor would form strong pressures on Houthis to involve in negotiations.
The operation of "liberating Hodeidah" was resumed on September 7, following collapse of peace talks of Geneva.
Yemen is facing the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead in Yemen, already the Arab world's poorest country and more than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of aid - 8.4 million of whom are on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.