Loyalists of Yemen’s exiled president seized more ground in second city Aden on Wednesday as they pressed their biggest fightback yet against Iran-backed rebels buoyed by their recapture of the airport.
At the United Nations, Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the world body’s chief was “very much disappointed that the humanitarian pause did not take hold over the weekend”.
The fighting raged despite a UN-declared six-day ceasefire that was supposed to take effect shortly before midnight (2100 GMT) on Friday.
In his statement, Mr. O’Brien urged the parties to abide by their obligations under worldwide law to protect civilians and facilitate rapid, safe and “predictable access” for humanitarian workers to reach all people who need assistance, wherever they are in Yemen.
The Saudi-led campaign of air strikes has done little to reverse the Houthi group’s advantage in the city and in battle lines stretching across Yemen’s south.
The officials also said a military base in the capital, Sanaa, was hit, adding that warplanes also bombed a cement factory in Amran province, wounding 10 people.
In Taiz which is adjacent to Aden, the pro-government forces advanced on key war fronts regaining positions and forcing the Houthi militants to escape from downtown, sources from the popular resistance said.
Medics said dozens of combatants and civilians had been killed in the last two days of fighting and the main hospital made an urgent appeal for blood donations.
These forces, with coalition air support, on Monday retook a major highway near Al-Waht some 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of Aden after fierce fighting, Hasan said.
Residents said scores of fighters amassed at the entrance of Mualla in the morning and heavy exchanges of gunfire erupted with Houthi forces, who were pushed over the course of several hours into Tawahi district.
“The Resistance is at the gates of the city of Mocha”, through which rebel military reinforcements used to arrive from northern cities under their control, Hasan said. Yemeni forces battling the Shiite rebels in the country’s south said they took control on Tuesday of the airport in the strategic port city of Aden, driving the rebels there into the part of the city jutting out into the sea.
More than a week ago the United Nations declared Yemen a level-3 humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, with nearly half the country facing a food crisis.
However, the truce, aimed at facilitating aid deliveries to more than 21 million people in Yemen, was breached by all warring parties.
Around 1.27 millions Yemini had been displaced within their country, while not less than 51,000 people had fled away to Yemen for Djibouti, Somalia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.