Saudi coalition strikes at Sana’a factory

Cairo (AP)-The rebels said that a coalition air strike led by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday destroyed a plastic factory in the capital Sana’a, the capital controlled by the rebels in Yemen, in the latest attack as fighting escalated in recent weeks.

According to a statement by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the dawn strike hit a Syrian national-owned factory near a hospital in the southern part of the city. No casualties were reported immediately.

The alliance did not immediately comment.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthi armed forces that controlled most of the northern part of the country took over Sana’a. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year, determined to restore an internationally recognized government and expel the insurgents.

In recent weeks, in many parts of the country, long-established front lines have moved or saw fighting intensify, which worries aid agencies and international observers.

Fierce fighting has taken place on the western coastline of the country in the strategic port city of Hodeidah and its surrounding areas.

On Friday, militias allied with the government made significant progress in the coastal city of Mocha south of Hodeidah. Security officials on both sides said dozens of people were killed in the conflict.

The humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières stated that its trauma hospital in Mocha received 45 people injured in the fighting on Friday and Saturday. The organization said on Monday that this is the second time in the past 10 days that the wounded have flooded into the organization’s hospital.

Earlier this month, troops loyal to the government withdrew from Hodeidah, allowing the rebels to retake key positions there. Shortly thereafter, pro-government militiamen returned to the city, and the two sides clashed fiercely. Houthi officials said that coalition air strikes attacked the port city for the first time in more than two years.

In recent months, Houthis have attacked government forces in Shabwa, Bayda and Malibu provinces, despite the United Nations, the United States and other countries calling for an end to fighting and negotiations to find a solution to the conflict.

These developments caused a major setback to the 2018 UN-mediated ceasefire, which ended the fighting in Hodeidah. The agreement was seen as an important first step towards ending the wider conflict in Yemen, which was disrupted by years of civil war but was never fully implemented.

The conflict in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of civilians and combatants. It caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, caused millions of people to suffer from food and medical shortages, and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

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