The fate of Hudaydah itself remains uncertain. Will there be a costly and protracted siege—one which would likely involve heavy civilian casualties, disrupt aid shipments, and possibly damage the port facilities? Or will military pressure or a negotiated agreement cause the Houthi to relinquish the port?
In the longer term, there is also the question of whether humanitarian aid will continue to flow from Hudaydah to the Houthi-controlled interior of Yemen, as the Saudi-led coalition claims will be the case, or whether the pro-Hadi forces seek to cut off access in an effort to starve the rebel-held cities into submission. The potential for humanitarian catastrophe is evident, but not inevitable depending on the choices made by various parties in the conflict.
Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.
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