Yemen conflict: Houthi rebels make gains in Aden

Tribal militiamen loyal to the Yemeni President gather beside a tank during clashes with Houthi fighters in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, 2 April 2015.

Tribal militiamen loyal to the Yemeni President gather beside a tank during clashes with Houthi fighters in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, 2 April 2015

Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels have made more gains in the city of Aden, despite air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition.

Fighting in the southern city has been intense as rebels and forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi battle for control.

Countries including Pakistan and China have stepped up efforts to evacuate their citizens amid reports of a worsening humanitarian situation.

A Pakistani aircraft rescued 170 people from the capital Sanaa on Sunday.

More than 800 Pakistani citizens have already left. Flights from China, Egypt, Sudan and Djibouti are also scheduled, according to the Saudi-led coalition.

The air strikes against the rebels continued for an 11th night on Saturday.

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Yemen unrest

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Indian nurse evacuated from Yemen, right, is welcomed by her parents upon arrival in Kochi, India

Indian nurse evacuated from Yemen, right, is welcomed by her parents upon arrival in Kochi, India….. India is one of several countries to have repatriated citizens from Yemen

The Red Cross has called for a 24-hour ceasefire in Aden, the country’s second city, to bring in medical supplies.

It says medical teams and rescuers must have access to the city, a stronghold of those loyal to President Hadi, or more civilians will die.

Spokesperson Marie Claire Feghali told the BBC that the humanitarian situation in the city was “dire” and that bodies were beginning to pile up on the streets.

“People cannot go out to buy food, we know that there is a lack of water in the city because the water pipes have been damaged, we are trying to do everything we can but the situation is extremely difficult,” she said.

‘Too dangerous’

On Sunday, the rebels advanced further into the city, bombarding residential areas and setting fire to several buildings, AFP reports.

Many residents have become trapped in their homes because of the fighting.

Rozmin McKendry from the UK, who has family in Aden, said that her brother could see fighting and shooting from his window.

“They want to get a boat to Djibouti and fly back to the UK, but the streets are too dangerous to travel on,” she said.

Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen on 4 April 4, 2015.

Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen on 4 April 4, 2015.

At least 185 people have been killed and 1,282 injured in Aden since 26 March, health department director Al-Kheder Lassouar said.

The toll does not include rebel casualties or victims of air raids, he added.

Algeria is one of the nations stepping up evacuations from Yemen.

An Algerian aircraft rescued 160 of its citizens along with other north Africans on Saturday.

Russia, India and Indonesia are among other countries to have already carried out evacuations amid increasing international concern.

Requests from nations including Canada, Germany and Iraq were also being processed, the coalition said.

Yemenis dig graves on 4 April, 2015 to bury the victims of a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition

Charities says more civilians will die unless they are allowed to deliver aid: Yemenis dig graves on 4 April, 2015 to bury the victims of a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition

The United Nations Security Council is considering Russia’s call for a pause in air strikes.

The council’s president, Dina Kawar, who is also Jordan’s UN ambassador, said members needed time to “reflect on the proposal”.

Over the past two weeks, fighting in Yemen has left more than 500 people dead and about 1,700 wounded, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.

The Houthis have said their aim is to replace President Hadi’s government, which they accuse of being corrupt.

They are supported by troops loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in the Arab Spring protests.

Saudi Arabia says the Houthis have military backing from regional rival Iran, which denies the allegation.

map

Yemen: who is fighting whom?

The Houthis: Zaidi Shia-led rebels from the north, who seized control of Sanaa last year and have since been expanding their control

President Hadi: Fled to Saudi Arabia after rebel forces advanced on his stronghold in the southern city of Aden

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: Seen by the US as the most dangerous offshoot of al-Qaeda, AQAP opposes both the Houthis and President Hadi.

Islamic State: A Yemeni affiliate of IS has recently emerged, which seeks to eclipse AQAP

Failure ‘not an option for Saudis’

Yemen crisis: An Iranian-Saudi battleground?

Meeting the Houthis – and their enemies

The rise of Yemen’s Houthi rebels

source: BBC NEWS / YouTube

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