Yemen: Heavy fighting in Aden creates new wave of casualties

MSF flag over the top of Aden hospital. More than 150 patients from the Hodeidah and Taiz front lines have been treated here.
Yemen 2017 © Ehab Zawati/MSF
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NEW YORK/ADEN, YEMEN, August 29, 2019—Heavy fighting yesterday in Aden, Yemen, has created a new wave of casualties, as the local trauma hospital run by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) received 51 wounded people in a few hours, including 10 who were dead on arrival.

The fighting in Aden is principally between forces loyal to President Hadi—supported by the Saudi-led coalition—and troops from the southern separatist movement, the Southern Transitional Council—supported by the United Arab Emirates. While they have been allies in the war against Ansar Allah, during the past few weeks they have been fighting each other for control of Yemen's southern governorates. 

Caroline Seguin, MSF program manager for Yemen, gave the following statement today from the Aden hospital: 

"It's total chaos here. There was fighting in the city all day yesterday. Things appear to have calmed down a bit this morning, but we expect the hostilities to resume at any point. This is the third huge influx of wounded people in three weeks. At this point it's difficult to establish which groups control which of Aden's neighborhoods. The airport and the area around it are closed, and there's a real risk of being trapped by the fighting. Our teams are standing by to receive more casualties. Yet again we've informed the various armed groups and the coalition that we're in the hospital and where it's located." 

Since the war in Yemen broke out in March 2015, MSF facilities have been bombed six times, five of which were airstrikes launched by the Saudi-led coalition. 

A neighborhood near the Aden hospital was targeted in a coalition airstrike early yesterday evening.

Between August 9 and 12, the city of Aden was transformed into a battlefield. MSF's teams at the hospital continually admitted wounded people and provided treatment to 119 patients in less than 24 hours. 

Violent clashes have also erupted in Abyan and Shabwah governorates where MSF provides support to the health system with donations of drugs, supplies, and equipment.