Yemenis cope with war living conditions following years of conflict

DHALEA CITY, Yemen (Xinhua) – For over five years, Yemen experienced a prolonged conflict pitting the country’s government forces backed by a coalition against the Houthi rebels.

The armed confrontations are still ongoing and expanding further to new areas, forcing thousands of helpless Yemeni people to cope with most difficult living conditions caused by the deadly years-long conflict.

The majority of the ordinary Yemenis found no solutions except enduring the devastating impacts of the war that hit different aspects of their life.

In Yemen’s southern province of Dhalea, 138km north of Aden province, the country’s temporary capital, fighting escalated between the government forces and the Houthis who desperately attempted to advance militarily towards the government-controlled provinces.

People in Dhalea struggle to make life go on despite the difficult living conditions and intense armed confrontations that are still raging on their province, particularly in the mountainous northern parts.

A general view of the government-controlled southern Dhalea city, Yemen on July 1. – PHOTOS: XINHUA
A child sells agricultural products at a public market in the government-controlled southern province of Dhalea city

Citizens coming from different mountainous villages are filling the city’s sole main street and other untidy public markets in the government-controlled province of Dhalea despite the sounds of explosions ranging out from the nearby frontlines.

Mohamed Qaid, a Dhalea-based resident, told Xinhua that people became fearless and started to get used to their new lifestyle of random Houthi shelling on some residential neighbourhoods.

“Life is going on here in Dhalea and nothing has been changed despite the ongoing fighting on the city’s northern outskirts,” Qaid said.

He added that “citizens in Dhalea are enduring the difficult living conditions caused by war with more resilience”.

The Iranian-allied Houthi group are still pushing hundreds of fighters into the northern and western outskirts of Dhalea and escalated random artillery shelling on southern residential areas controlled by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

Local military officials confirmed to Xinhua that a number of ballistic missiles were fired by the Houthi rebels against Dhalea and landed away from residential areas during the past weeks, causing no casualties.

Families in Dhalea province faced the Houthi-fired shells and missiles with great steadfastness and refused to leave their houses despite the ongoing escalation, according to the officials.

“Here in Dhalea, families remained steadfast and refused to leave their residential areas despite the Houthi bombardment,” said Emad Humaidi, a local anti-Houthi fighter in Dhalea.

In April, the Iranian-allied Houthi fighters launched a series of intense armed attacks on the positions of government forces and succeeded in seizing the district of Al Husha in the west of Dhalea.

The areas in the north and west of Dhalea have been witnessing fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters for four years.

Yemen has been plagued by a civil war since late 2014 after Houthi rebels revolted and forced the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.