Fuel shipments have not reached Yemen for over a month amid an uptick in fighting and international calls to ease the Saudi-blockade, Reuters reported.
The Saudi-led coalition has refused access ships from accessing the port of Hudaydah with “the coalition has repeatedly said their priority is food only”, a UN spokesperson from the inspection body, the Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) told Reuters.
In early November, the Houthi group fired a missile towards the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia responded by imposing an air, land and sea blockade on Yemen. This prevented crucial basic amenities and humanitarian aid from entering Yemen. The blockade was eased after some three weeks, allowing shipments to southern Yemen which is controlled by forces backed by the coalition.
International pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia to ease the blockade, including by the United States. President Donald Trump urged Saudi Arabia to immediately allow food and aid to enter Yemen, yesterday.
Saudi Arabia permitted some aid to enter Hudaydah last month. But at least six oil tankers were prevented from unloading fuel shipments to Hudaydah by the Saudi military which is monitoring the Red Sea.
After the assassination of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh early this week, it is reported that forces loyal to him have joined the ranks of internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s national army in a bid to neutralise the threat posed by the Houthis in Sana’a. There are unconfirmed reports that the new Yemen national army will be confronting the Houthi group in Hudaydah and Mocha. It is unclear whether Saudi Arabia is coordinating the prevention of imports on Hudaydah with Yemen’s national army.
Unconfirmed reports claiming coalition-backed Yemeni forces have launched a new ground offensive north of Mocha in a bid to take Hodeidah. Forces are allegedly on outskirts of Khokha, 75+ miles south of Hodeidah.
— Iona Craigأيونا كريچ (@ionacraig) December 6, 2017
The civil war erupted in 2014, when the Houthi and Saleh alliance took over the capital Sana’a, triggering a Saudi-led intervention in March 2015 in support of Hadi. Hudaydah is a strategic port in Yemen and a lifeline for some seven million on the brink of famine and the one million who are suspected of being infected with cholera.