Houthis set up on roof of hospital amid fears for civilians
Houthi rebel fighters have taken up positions on the roof of one of Hodeidah's main civilian hospitals, Amnesty has warned, as fighting in the crucial Yemeni port city intensified despite calls for a ceasefire.
The human rights group warned civilians inside the May 22 hospital were at risk of being hit by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike after Houthi militiamen set up a position on the roof.
"This is a stomach-churning development that could have devastating consequences for the hospital's medical workers and dozens of civilian patients, including many children," Amnesty said in statement.
The group warned that while the Houthis use of the hospital for military purposes was a violation of international law, it was not a justification for coalition forces to strike the hospital. "Anyone attacking a hospital under these conditions risks responsibility for war crimes," it added.
Fighting in Hodeidah has intensified in the last week as Yemeni government forces and their Saudi and UAE allies try to wrest control of the city from the Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran.
Dozens of civilians and combatants have been killed as coalition forces pound the city with airstrikes and push through its streets as part of a renewed offensive that began over the weekend.
The intensified attack came despite a US call for a ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days, followed swiftly by UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.
Both sides have expressed willingness to engage in talks but so far there has been no let-up in the fighting.
The port city of Hodeidah is the main lifeline for food and humanitarian aid for civilians in Houthi-controlled territory in the north of Yemen.