A Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a vegetable packaging factory killed at least 16 people and wounded 12 others in Bayt Al-Faqih district (Al-Hudaydah province) on Wednesday, October 24. The airstrike comes as the Saudi-led coalition prepares to launch a renewed offensive on the city of Al-Hudaydah; on Wednesday, Yemeni officials said that the coalition had deployed reinforcements to the country's west coast ahead of the expected assault. Saudi-led coalition forces are expected to escalate their fight against the Houthi rebels in Al-Hudaydah and launch an increasing number of airstrikes on Houthi fighters and positions over the coming weeks.
Dozens of people have been killed around Al-Hudaydah in coalition airstrikes as well as in clashes between coalition forces and Houthi rebels since UN-brokered peace negotiations faltered between the Yemeni government and Houthi leaders in Geneva on September 8. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), tens of thousands of households have been displaced from Al-Hudaydah in the fighting. In late September, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths claimed that "critical actions need to be taken now" to avert a famine in the country.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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