A new spike in fighting in Yemen‘s capital city has seen at least 125 people killed and 238 wounded, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Agencies report.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck at Houthi militia positions in Sanaa for a second day on Monday in support of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former Houthi ally who has now renounced his alliance with the Iran-backed group.
Residents are trapped in their homes, many lacking provisions, with the sick, wounded and pregnant women often unable to reach hospitals, Iolanda Jaquemet, an ICRC spokeswoman, said.
The ICRC supplies three large hospitals in the Yemeni capital which urgently need kits for treating war-wounded, Ms Jaquemet said. She said they were looking at donating body bags to the hospitals, plus other supplies.
“We hope to donate fuel to the main hospitals because they depend on generators and they are in urgent need of fuel because their stocks are being depleted at a time of the recent increase in the number of casualties,” Ms Jaquemet added.
Hospitals need electricity to perform surgeries and maintain the cold chain for drugs and vaccines, she said. The ICRC “relocated” 13 international staff to Djibouti from Sanaa on Monday, leaving about 199 staff in the city, including 21 expatriates, she said.
Houthi fighters blew up Mr Saleh’s house in the centre of the capital as fighting between the former allies intensified, residents said. His whereabouts remain unknown.
The former President’s loyalists have lost ground on the sixth day of heavy urban combat with the Houthis.
The Saudi-led air campaign, backed by US and other Western arms and intelligence, has killed hundreds of civilians but has failed to win the coalition any major gains in the nearly three-year-old military campaign to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to power.
However, in a speech late on Sunday, Mr Saleh formally annulled his alliance with the Houthis and pledged to step up his fight. The re-alignment of the former President’s forces with the Saudis marks a significant turn in a war which is part of a wider struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the warring parties to stop all ground and air assaults. Mr Guterres also called for the resumption of all commercial imports into Yemen, saying millions of children, women and men risk mass hunger, disease and death