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ICRC warns of Saudi coalition’s attack on Hodeida in Yemen

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday warned against Saudi coalition's new attack on Yemen's Hodeida Port.

A statement, posted on the ICRC official website, reads that as Hodeida sees a dramatic escalation in the fighting around the city, the ICRC calls on warring parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from unnecessary harm, especially in the lead-up to potential talks between parties.

Hodeida is once again trapped in violence with hundreds of thousands of Yemenis caught in the middle. The upcoming talks cannot be an excuse to disregard the laws of war that protect the lives of the Yemeni people, said Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC's Regional Director for the Near and Middle East.

'Wars have rules and parties to the conflict must respect them, even in the fiercest battles,' according to Carboni.

The ICRC teams on the ground have seen how fear is rising among Yemeni people of being accidentally hit or purposely targeted. Fighting is nearing health centers, which led to the interruption of services in Hodeida's 22nd May Hospital, said Carboni, adding that the city's biggest hospital, Al-Thawra, is mere meters from the frontline, and if more health structures are rendered dysfunctional, the remaining facilities might not have the capacity to provide regular services or cope with an influx of casualties.

The ICRC encourages political efforts to put an end to a war that has caused intense misery for Yemeni families, said the official, adding that millions of people are displaced in the country and millions are battling extreme hunger as a direct consequence of the conflict.

This new attack on Hodeida is brushing away the hope sparked by the recent announcement of the peace talks, said Carboni. Were running out of words to describe how wretched the situation is. Its time to see a glimmer of hope in Yemen,' said the ICRC official.

The ICRC in Hodeida is providing support to Al-Thawra hospital and the Hodeida Water Authority to help keep basic services running. Since the escalation of the fighting in June, the ICRC has delivered more than 80 metric tons of medical supplies to health facilities in and around the city and food and household items to more than 48,000 internally displaced individuals, ICRC statement concluded.

It is for more than three years that the people of Yemen are under the Saudi-led coalition attacks. The aim of Saudi attacks which began on March 2015 is to restore power to Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Thousands of civilians including women and children have been killed or injured in the brutal attacks of Saudi Arabia and its allies on the impoverished country and many have lost their lives due to outbreak of diseases and lack of medicines and medical services. Many human rights groups across the world have expressed great concern over the horrible situation in Yemen caused by the bloody war imposed by Saudi Arabia and its Western and Arab allies.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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