CAIRO (AP) — Fighting between troops loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels displaced over 25,000 people around a key port city last month, the United Nations said late Tuesday.
The fighting in Hodeida flared up when rebels rushed in to areas abandoned by government forces, followed by a counterstrike by pro-government troops backed by the United Arab Emirates, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
Roughly three-fifths of civilians fled to government-held territory, with the remainder heading to the rebels.
The conflict in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year to try restore the government. The UAE is a major partner in the Saudi-led coalition.
The recent fighting in Hodeida has been the fiercest there since a U.N.-brokered truce in December 2018, although even that agreement was never fully implemented. Hodeida handles about 70% of the country’s commercial and humanitarian imports.
Clashes have increased elsewhere in recent weeks, such as around the oil-rich city of Marib, where OCHA says over 64,450 people have been displaced since January.
The Saudi-led coalition has also accelerated its airstrikes on Houthi positions in Sanaa as well as the provinces of Marib, Jawf and Hodeida, while the rebels have fired missiles and explosive-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.
The deadlocked war in Yemen has spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical shortages. It has killed over 130,000 people, including fighters and civilians, according to a database project that tracks violence.