Executive Intelligence Review


Saudis and Emirates Escalate Fighting in Yemen’s Port City of Hodeidah

Nov. 8, 2018 (EIRNS)—While the situation on the ground is difficult to determine with any precision, most news reports indicate that the Saudi-led forces assaulting Hodeidah have taken control of the main road to the port, and are within a few kilometers of the port facility itself. Most reports also indicate intense fighting all along the perimeter from the southern to the eastern sides of the city, with heavy casualties on both sides. Particularly under threat is Hodeidah’s main hospital, where the patients have become trapped by the fighting, and medics are crying for help. Al Masdar News reported yesterday that the U.A.E.-backed forces broke through the Houthis’ lines in southern Hodeidah, paving the way for their troops to enter the city for the first time.

The fighting in Hodeidah escalated dramatically after last week’s calls for an immediate ceasefire coming from the U.S. and the United Nations. According to the charity “Save the Children,” there have been more than 100 airstrikes in the last few days, five times more than during the entire first week of October. Pro-government militias are evidently trying to seize as much ground as possible before fighting is supposed to stop at the end of November, when it is hoped that UN-sponsored peace talks will resume in Sweden.

Thirty-five Yemeni and international NGOs signed a statement yesterday demanding an immediate cessation of the fighting because of the risk of widespread famine.

“With 14 million men, women and children on the brink of famine—half the country’s population—there has never been a more urgent time to act,”

the statement said, reports AFP. It called on governments to “secure an immediate cessation of hostilities” and “suspend the supply of arms at risk of being used in Yemen.”

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths is preparing for a new round of talks. “We remain committed to bringing the Yemeni parties to the negotiations table within a month. Dialogue remains the only path to reach an inclusive agreement,” he said yesterday. Griffiths stressed in an interview with U.S.-financed Alhurra TV that he is working to overcome all obstacles to be able to call for a new round of consultations before the end of this year, and that the content of the next round of negotiations will include two key issues: discussing confidence-building measures and setting a framework for a possible solution to the conflict in Yemen. He also stressed support for the economy of Yemen, to include stabilizing the central bank of Yemen, as a fundamental contribution to improve the living conditions in Yemen, and to alleviate the humanitarian situation there.

The Schiller Institute has been circulating a detailed economic reconstruction program, prepared jointly with the Yemeni General Investment Authority (YGIA) and Swedhydro Consulting (Sweden), as a proposed basis for such peace negotiations. A summary review of the 86-page Arabic-language report, “Operation Felix: The Miracle of Yemen’s Reconstruction and Connection to the New Silk Road,” was published by EIR online in its June 29, 2018 issue.