Heavy clashes break out in Yemen's Hodeidah
Heavy clashes and artillery shelling erupted on Tuesday night between the Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels on the southeastern edges of Hodeidah port city amid United Nations' peace efforts to maintain the ceasefire deal.
Residents said the fighting was concentrated at Hodeidah airport and Red Sea mills, with no casualties reported yet.
Hodeidah is the key lifeline entry point for the country's most food imports and humanitarian aid.
The escalation came hours after the World Food Program was denied access to the city mills to fumigate over 51,000 tons of wheat aid at risk of rotting.
The UN has warned against targeting food aid which could risk lives of millions of Yemenis.
Houthi rebels controlled the city while the Saudi-backed government troops have advanced to the southeastern outskirts.
Four years of conflicts has pushed over 20 million to the verge of starvation.
Yemeni warring parties reached the peace deal on Hodeidah in December last year as a first step toward striking a comprehensive political solution.
They have largely held the ceasefire deal but failed to withdraw their forces.
(Cover: A street in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, February 13, 2019. /VCG Photo)
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency