Yemen: Escalating Conflict Flash Update 16 | 22 April 2015 (10.00)
Daily Key messages
Any initiative that can reduce the violence in Yemen is welcome. Announcements regarding ongoing hostilities should support urgent practical aid delivery into and within the country.
Today, the capital, Sana’a, and most other Yemeni towns are quiet following an announcement by Saudi Arabia following a month-long campaign of airstrikes in Yemen. "Operation Decisive Storm" will be reportedly followed by “Operation Restoring Hope", which will involve reviving talks on a political settlement, protection of civilians and delivery of aid. There are, however, media reports that some coalition airstrikes resumed late this morning in Taizz, targeting a government military brigade.
Most people in Sana’a are staying indoors and adopting a wait-and-see attitude. In Aden, the coalition’s announcement has sparked violence; ground fighting involving tanks is taking place throughout the city and militants are entering residential areas. Similar reports are coming from Abyan where heavy mortars/shelling are being fired in Lawder District. In Lahj too, heavy clashes are reported.
Before Saudi Arabia announced the end of the air campaign, several targets had been hit in the last 24 hours. These included Al Daleel Bridge in Al Makhadir District of Ibb Governorate; locations in Haradh District in Hajjah Governorate; and Al What area between Radfan and Tuban districts in Lahj Governorate. Airstrikes also reportedly hit targets in Amran, Shabwah and Sa’ada. Casualties were reported.
In Aden Governorate, Khor Makser District, an office for an international organisation was damaged by explosions as a result of shelling and aerial bombardments that took place in the vicinity of Aden airport.
Displacement and casualties WHO has updated its casualty figures: between 19 March and 20 April, a reported 1,080 people were killed (including 28 children and 48 women), and 4,352 injured (including 80 children and 143 women) due to violence.
Access and humanitarian response Response Due to insecurity in Aden city today and the spread of street fights, one partner was not able to distribute non-food items to IDPs living in schools. Another partner, however, delivered hygiene items to the 22 May Hospital. In Al Dhale’e, water trucking started today for IDPs and host communities in Al Dhubayiat area. This is the first humanitarian intervention since the escalation of conflict in the area. Al Dhale’e has had no water and electricity for over one month
Partners in Sa’ada completed rapid needs assessments in Sahar and Al Safra Districts on 20 April and are planning to conduct one in Majz District tomorrow, 23 April, security permitting.