The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely concerned about reports of civilian casualties following the escalation of the fighting in Dammaj, in northern Yemen. The ICRC calls upon all parties to observe an immediate ceasefire. This will enable the wounded to be evacuated without delay and much-needed medical assistance to be delivered.
“As soon as the fighting broke out, we contacted all the parties involved and requested access to provide medical care and evacuate the wounded,” said Cedric Schweizer, head of the ICRC delegation in Sana’a. “However, since last week, the ongoing clashes have been preventing us reaching people who urgently need our help. Every minute we lose waiting to get into Dammaj and the surrounding area is a potential life lost. We are calling for an immediate and solid ceasefire, which would allow our colleagues to evacuate the wounded and deliver life-saving care.”
Al Houthis used tanks and Katyusha rockets to shell Damaj on November 1. Soldiers wearing Ninth Brigade uniforms reportedly accompanied the attack. Salafist leader Yahya bin Ali al Hajawri said that Salafists would rather die than surrender Damaj to al Houthis. The ICRC has called for an immediate ceasefire in Damaj as the death toll reaches 40 killed over the past three days. Al Houthis attacked Salafist tribesmen in Kataf, Sa’ada governorate on October 31. Eight al Houthis and two tribesmen were killed. The tribesmen recaptured Mount Jabara and seized weapons caches.