Smoke rises from burning houses in al-Sarari area in the province of Ta'izz during clashes between militants loyal to resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and Houthi Ansarullah fighters, July 26, 2016. ©Reuters
The United Nations has called for a humanitarian truce in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta'izz as heavy fighting continues in the embattled region.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick on Wednesday expressed alarm at increasing bloodshed in Ta'izz province, particularly the al-Sarari area, and urged all warring sides to agree immediately to a "humanitarian pause" to protect civilians.
He also called for cooperation with humanitarian agencies to help treat and evacuate the wounded and deliver much-needed medicine to the embattled region.
Forces loyal to Yemen’s resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, control most of Ta'izz, the third largest city in the impoverished Arab country. The city has an estimated pre-war population of 300,000 people.
According to reports, forces loyal to Hadi fired several rockets at Sarari homes overnight.
In a letter to the UN, a Houthi official of a ceasefire committee assigned to oversee a fragile truce in Ta'izz said Sarari residents had been subjected to "war crimes" such as house burning and the detention of 49 civilians, including women and children.
"We call on you to swiftly intervene to stop these gangs and limit the massacres they have begun to commit against unarmed civilians," Ahmed al-Msawa said in the letter, Reuters reported.
However, pro-Hadi forces have denied setting fires to houses.
In this April 25, 2016 photo, a woman, who fled the city of Ta'izz, carries her daughter as she stands near her family's hut in a slum area of Sana’a, Yemen. ©AP
A UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen, which took effect in April, has been shaky as both sides accuse each other of breaking the truce.
The ceasefire was aimed at paving the way for UN-mediated peace talks among Yemeni groups to resolve the conflict in Yemen. The talks, currently underway in Kuwait, are reportedly to be extended for another week, according to sources.
This comes as Yemen has been under military strikes by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015. The Saudi war has been meant to restore power to Hadi, who seeks to forcefully return to power.
The Riyadh military aggression has left close to 10,000 dead in Yemen.