Yemeni officials and experts think that keeping the strategic Hodeidah Port under the Houthis’ control worsens the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Local Affairs Minister Abdul Rakib Fatah said 70% of the relief entered the country through the Hodeidah Port according to international organizations’ reports, adding that the largest warehouses of food aid were in Hodeidah but indicators of famine emerged in the city.
“This is evidence that the militias are using relief supplies to support their war efforts and that they are using the port as a military port and not as a port for relief (supplies,)” Fatah, who is also the head of the higher committee for relief, said.
Meanwhile, Yemeni Human Rights Minister Mohammed Askar warned that the humanitarian crisis will escalate, people’s suffering will worsen and the war will prolong if Hodeidah and its port remain under the Houthis’ control.
Askar told reporters that Hodeidah is the financial vein that nurtures militias, noting that the Houthis use the city’s only port to smuggle weapons and ballistic missiles’ parts.
According to local and international media reports, Houthi militias have ever since seizing control of the city in 2014 prevented dozens of ships carrying humanitarian aid to enter. Houthis have also confiscated plenty of this aid and deprived millions of Yemenis from them.
Yemeni writer Mohammed Anaam said liberating Hodeidah “is a 100% humanitarian decision that mitigates the worsening humanitarian crisis” which is due to the Houthis’ seizure of aid, adding that liberating Hodeidah and its port will mainly represent a “humanitarian victory.”
Anaam also said that liberating Hodeidah will secure navigation and put an end to Iran’s tampering with the security and stability of the region’s countries.
Yemeni army forces, aided by the Arab coalition, are preparing for a military operation to liberate Hodeidah and its port as they are stationed at the outskirts of the Hodeidah Airport. Meanwhile, the Houthis’ defenses and ranks are collapsing due to the heavy losses they’ve suffered.
The Houthis have repeatedly rejected a UN proposal to neutralize the Hodeidah Port which they use to smuggle weapons and employ as a platform to threaten international navigation in the Red Sea.