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The fragile truce in western Yemen collapses. Houthi missiles kill 8 people and injure 10 others in the town Al-Mocha in Taiz governorate.

Houthi missiles kill 8 and injure 10 in Al-Mocha

Eight people including five civilians were killed while 10 others were injured when the town of Al-Mocha was hit with a Houthi rocket on Wednesday evening.

Local sources told Almasdar Online that the Houthis fired four ballistic missiles and mounted a drone attack on Wednesday evening towards the coastal city of Al-Mocha.

According to the source, the air defense system intercepted three ballistic missiles and a drone aircraft, all of which were targeting the coalition headquarters in Al-Mocha. The air defence system was however unable to intercept the fourth missile. 

The Houthis have not yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and Houthi media has accused government and Saudi-led coalition forces of intensifying attacks on the besieged city of Al-Derihimi, as well as shelling residential areas of Hodeidah city.

This is the biggest escalation on Yemen's west coast since the UN ceasefire was declared in October. While combat operations are meant to have ceased or decreased especially after the  deployment of ceasefire observers along the front lines south and east of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah. 

In a statement last Tuesday, the chairman of the Coordination Committee for the Redeployment in Hodeidah, the Indian general Abhijit Joha, condemned violations of the ceasefire and  failure of the warring parties to de-escalate conflict in Hodeidah in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement, concluded last December. General Johas strongly worded statement of condemnation  comes less than 24 hours after a meeting with the Houthi interior minister Abdul Karim Al-Houthi. In the meeting, Houthis rejected an official UN request to lift the restrictions imposed by the Houthis on the UN ceasefire monitoring team.

In an official report published in the Houthi news agency, Abdul Karim al-Houthi called on the UN monitoring teams in Hodeidah to abide by the instructions and security measures imposed on them by the Houthis "for their own safety." 

The Houthis insist on imposing local security forces loyal to them as a fait accompli, although they remain in dispute and an obstacle to the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement, according to UN envoy Martin Griffiths' recent briefing to the Security Council.

According to the spokesman of the government forces on the west coast, Colonel Wadhah al-Dubaish, the Houthis are preventing the entry of food to the control officers at the five monitoring points in Hodeidah. 

The UN special envoy to Yemen has repeatedly warned that the fragile truce in Hodeidah could  collapse at any time. The latest escalation threatens the optimism and hope that UN officials have in light of the signing of the Riyadh agreement, which gives hope to political settlement in the south and a step towards ending the war in Yemen. 


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