By Sami Noman
ADEN, Oct 18 (KUNA) -- Al-Abdiyah District, south Marib Governorate is facing a big humanitarian disaster as Houthi militias continue to put it under siege and constant attacks with different weapons.
On September 17, the Houthis sieged the district, isolating about 37,000 people and preventing all humanitarian aid including food and medicine from reaching citizens, despite international calls to allow the delivery of aid and treatment of wounded citizens.
Last Thursday, the militias attacked the only rural hospital in Al-Abdiyah, while it was crowded with citizens including women and children. The attack was condemned by Doctors Without Borders organization, affirming that citizens and health workers must never be a target.
The Houthis had failed to control Al-Abdiyah since 2015, until the military escalation in early 2020 in Marib, which hosts the largest numbers of displaced Yemenis who fled areas controlled by the militias.
Yesterday, Yemeni government spokesman Rajih Badi denied the Houthis claims of taking over the district, adding that battles are still going on in the area between the militias and the army.
Al-Abdiyah tribes are also fighting against Houhis, without media coverage as the militias cut off communications.
Al-Abdiyah, located at southwestern Marib, is crucial to Houthis as a gate to enter and control the center of Marib.
Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition to support Yemen's legitimacy broadcasts news on its air raids against the militias on a daily basis, noting that it had executed hundreds of raids that killed and injured hundreds of Houthi soldiers and prevented them from advancing in Marib.
In the same context, head of the executive unit for displaced people's camps affairs in Marib Saif Mathna criticized the UN organizations for not responding to calls to aid Al-Abdiyah and other districts south of Marib. He added that 3,000 families were displaced, in a non-final statistic.
According to SABA news agency, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik and US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking discussed the Houthis crimes against citizens in Al-Abdiyah, noting that this escalation will affect the peace talks and the international efforts to reach a political solution.
Moreover, Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Mubarak and the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg affirmed that the Houthi militias are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, calling on the UN and the international community to immediately intervene and put an end to the violence.
On his part, Marib governor Sultan Al-Arada, in a phone call with the US envoy last Saturday, called for listing the militias as a terrorist group, bring them to be judged as war criminals in international courts and take serious action to stop them. Al-Abdiyah citizens are under attack with different kinds of heavy artillery and are facing a genocide, he said.
Yesterday, the US government condemned the Houthi militias actions, calling on them to allow the movement of Al-Abdiyah citizens and the entry of humanitarian aid.
Also, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed his deep concern over the situation in Al-Abdiyah, calling on the conflict sides to ensure the safety of citizens and allow a safe passage those fleeing conflict areas, in accordance with the international law.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hoped it would be able to provide humanitarian aid to all damaged areas in Marib, but it needs safety insurance first. (end) sns.ag