UPDATED 7:20 AM PT — Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they will not give up control of the key port city of Hodeidah. A rebel leader made the comments Tuesday, just three months after a United Nations-backed ceasefire agreement was reached for the city.
This comes as the number of casualties in the war has reportedly doubled since the ceasefire agreement was struck, resulting in three people being killed per day.
The Houthis went on to accuse Yemen’s internationally recognized government of misinterpreting the deal.
“The withdrawal, which was decided upon as a redeployment in Hodeida, we agreed to under the presented mechanism in their proposal,” stated Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi rebels’ supreme revolutionary committee. “But for there to be a withdrawal in the way they are portraying it, this is impossible.”
The Houthis have made several threatening statements in the past days, and have claimd the Saudi-led coalition is preparing for an escalation in attacks on Hodeidah.
The ceasefire was originally reached as a way to ensure humanitarian aid reached civilians in the country, millions of whom are facing starvation. As the ceasefire comes closer to crumbling, those vulnerable people are more at risk than ever.