By: Sahr Muhammedally
Yemeni forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia have advanced to within 20 km (12.4 miles) outside of Hodeidah, a port city of 700,000 under control of Houthi rebels that is the entry point for 80 percent of aid shipments keeping millions of civilians alive in war-torn Yemen. The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that U.S. officials are considering a request from the UAE for military assistance to seize the port from the Houthis, a request the U.S. rejected last year because of its potential “catastrophic” effects.
A key consideration for any such operation, supported by the U.S. or not, should be whether the forces have prepared sufficiently so they can take all feasible measures to reduce civilian harm and ensure humanitarian access across Yemen, as they are obligated to do under international humanitarian law?
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