Fighting eases in Yemen’s Hodeidah as Western pressure mounts

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A source in Yemen's pro-government military coalition, which is backed by a Saudi-led military alliance, said the Houthis had pushed back a large-scale offensive aimed at moving towards Hodeida port. In a statement sent via the Telegram messaging app, the Houthis said they had "lured" loyalists up the western coastline of Hodeidah, where the rebels then launched an attack.

"Hundreds of medical workers and patients, including a malnourished woman carrying her daughter in a surgical robe and a man still hooked up to a catheter, fled in terror as a series of large explosions rocked a hospital (al-Thawra) in central Hodeidah", Amnesty International said, quoting a witness.

The Hodeida offensive has sparked an global outcry unprecedented in almost four years of conflict between the Huthis and the Saudi-backed government.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a major ally of Washington, to engage in peace talks.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said there could be no victor in the war and it was time to cut losses.

"There will be no victor in this war", Le Drian told France 2 TV.

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Hodeidah is the lifeline and key port of 90 percent of food imports and aid for millions of Yemenis living in the northern cities, which are under Houthi control.

A 15-year-old boy died last week of shrapnel wounds in Hodeida, Save the Children said.

Medics in hospitals across Hodeidah province reported 111 rebels and 32 loyalist fighters killed overnight, according to a tally.

Sources at the Al-Alfi military hospital, seized by the rebels during their 2014 takeover, said charred body parts had been delivered there overnight.

The Saudi and UAE-led war in Yemen has caused growing worldwide unease after high-profile coalition air strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.

The Yemeni Human Rights Ministry accused the Houthis of using civilians as human shields in Hodeidah.

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The coalition has renewed its offensive on Hodeidah as Western allies, including the United States, called for a ceasefire to support U.N. -led efforts to end the almost four-year war that has killed more than 10,000 and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

Western governments that support the coalition with arms and intelligence have toughened their stance on Yemen after the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 sparked a global outcry and opened Riyadh to possible sanctions.

Multiple countries, including Germany and Norway, have announced the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi's killing.

Pro-coalition forces took control on Saturday of Red Sea Mills, a main grains facility south of the port which holds about 51,000 tonnes of wheat, a United Nations aid group said.

United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths has said he hopes to convene renewed peace talks by the end of the year after the last round of consultations collapsed in September.

Houthis have committed all kinds of violations in this city, including killing, arresting, torturing, blackmailing, displacing, kidnapping kids, looting properties, and using Hodeidah port to smuggle weapons and jeopardize worldwide navigation.

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