Saudi warplanes have launched an airstrike on Yemen’s Western coastal province of Hudaydah, killing and injuring ten civilians, in yet another violation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement between the warring sides in Yemen.
The airstrike hit an area to the east of Hays City in Hudaydah overnight on Sunday.
Yemeni media outlets cited local sources as saying that the air raid killed three people and injured seven others.
The airstrike apparently aimed to support the Saudi militants amid reports of fierce clashes between Yemeni army and allied fighters from popular committees, and Saudi-backed militants in Hays District.
The attack came in violation of the Stockholm Agreement that was reached in December 2018 following peace negotiations between representatives from Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement and Riyadh-backed mercenaries loyal to Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur.
The document set out three undertakings, which include a ceasefire along the Hudaydah front and the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port; an agreement on prisoner exchange; and a statement of understanding on the southern Yemeni city of Ta’izz.
The popular Ansarullah movement has said they expected the Stockholm Agreement to lead to peace, but instead, Saudi Arabia has continued to violate the UN-backed agreement, killing and injuring thousands of Yemenis ever since.
Separately, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network reported hat fierce clashes erupted between the warring parties between the districts of al-Jubah and Wadi Abidah in Ma’rib Province, and that Saudi jets intensified their airstrikes on the strategic province in a bid to hinder the progress of the Yemeni troops towards Ma’rib City.
Al-Mayadeen cited sources as saying that the Yemeni forces “are stationed about three to four kilometers away from the al-Falaj checkpoint, the southern entrance to the capital of Ma’rib Province”.
Muhammad Elwan, deputy Governor of Ma’rib, has said that Yemeni tribes in Ma’rib City decided to join the operation of liberating the remaining territories in Ma’rib from the control of militants loyal to the former Saudi-backed government, adding the upcoming days will witness “big surprises and the remaining districts of Ma’rib Province will be restored.”
Ma’rib, which is located right in the middle of a whole host of other Yemeni provinces, has turned into a focus of the Yemeni army’s liberation operations since last year.
The province’s recapture, towards which many advances have been made so far, is expected to pave the way for further military victories for the Yemeni armed forces.
Last month, Yemen’s Defense Minister Mohammad al-Atefi said the capture of Ma’rib City is “a matter of time,” noting that the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen has already been defeated and that the aggressors have no choice but to admit defeat.
UAE-backed militants in ‘severe disputes’
As the Yemeni forces continue to advance towards Ma’rib City, UAE-backed militants last week withdrew from dozens of areas in Hudaydah, which would reportedly be the next target of the Yemeni forces’ liberating operations after Ma’rib.
Al-Mayadeen correspondent on Sunday cited sources as saying that the “sudden” withdrawal of UAE-backed militants, led by Haitham Taher, from the southern areas of Hudaydah was followed by “undeclared, severe disputes between the UAE-backed factions” in western Yemen.
According to the report, the withdrawal was a “stab in the back” of Tareq Saleh’s forces, which are stationed in al-Mukha District, and left the armed groups affiliated with the so-called Southern Transitional Council in a state of “shock and confusion.”
The report also said that Tareq Saleh-led forces are concerned that the withdrawal had taken place upon an agreement between Haitham Taher’s forces and loyalists to Hadi.
According to al-Mayadeen, the entire Hudaydah Province has been liberated, except for al-Khukha District.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.
In spite of the worldwide condemnation of the Saudi-led war and US President Joe Biden’s promise to end “all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” the Biden administration has continued to approve selling weapons to the kingdom.
The war has already left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.
In the meantime, Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.