By Ahmed Abdulkareem
SA’DAH, YEMEN — The familiar sound of heavy artillery once again returned to Yemen’s Hodeida province following a period of relative calm in the strategic coastal region. At least 66 artillery shells and a steady stream of heavy machine-gun fire tore through the village of Al-Shijan on Monday, as Saudi-led forces renewed hostilities in the area following a Houthi withdrawal from Hodeida — a move the UN had hoped would bring some semblance of peace to the region.
The Saudi attack comes just days after the Houthis began a unilateral withdrawal from the areas of Saleef, Ras Isa and Hodeida ports in Hodeida province as part of a UN-brokered mutual withdrawal from the province.
The withdrawal comes after months of frustration by the UN team overseeing of the implementation of a truce agreement reached by the Houthis and Saudi-led Coalition in Stockholm, Sweden last year, which would see both sides withdraw from Hodeida and UN personnel take control. But since the agreement was signed, Saudi forces have instead increased their military presence in the province and dismissed unilateral withdrawals by the Houthis as propaganda, frustrating international parties seeking to end…