Sanaa, June 27 (IANS) At least nine people were killed and 11 others wounded on Tuesday in an airstrike by the Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition in the city of Hudaydah, eyewitnesses said.
The occupants of the bus that was hit in the attack were inhabitants of Hudaydah, who were attempting to leave the Houthi-controlled city before the Arab coalition begins an all-out offensive to take the city, Efe reported.
In the past weeks, fighting has taken place as Yemeni government forces, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have advanced toward the port city from the south, seizing its international airport.
Hudaydah’s seaport is a critical lifeline for food aid to reach millions of Yemenis living in areas controlled by the Houthis, including the capital Sanaa.
The UN has been trying to prevent an assault that would lead to even greater food insecurity.
At least 26,000 people have been displaced by violence and fears of an impending assault by government troops on Hudaydah, according to UN data.
These forces have been pushing toward Hudaydah as part of the ongoing Saudi-led war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which began in March 2015.
Yemen has been locked in a political and military crisis since the popular regional uprisings of 2011, with the Houthis taking control of the capital Sanaa in September 2014, expelling President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is supported by Saudi Arabia.
The bombing campaign by the Saudi-Emirati-United States coalition has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a humanitarian catastrophe, pushing millions to the brink of starvation.
Over 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.