Fighting has continued in Yemen despite a Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels. The Red Cross has described the situation in the southern port of Aden as "catastrophic."
Gun battles are reported to have raged on in and around Aden on Tuesday, as Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels continued to try to take control of the port city, and local fighters continued to resist them.
The southern city still appeared to be under siege from the Houthis, who are widely thought to be backed by Iran, despite a bombing campaign being conducted against them by a regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia. Coalition forces continued to launch air strikes on Houthi positions in and around Aden on Tuesday, and the situation in the city continued to worsen.
'Catastrophic' situation in Aden
A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, Marie Claire Feghali, told the AFP news agency that the humanitarian situation throughout the country had become very difficult, with "naval, air and ground routes cut off." She described the situation in Aden in particular as "catastrophic to say the least."
"The war in Aden is on every street, in every corner," she said, leaving many residents with no way of escaping the fighting."
A spokesperson for aid agency Medicins Sans Frontieres reported that its team in Aden had not had to deal with large numbers of casualties in recent days because the wounded were having trouble reaching hospitals.
ICRC aid flight planned
Meanwhile, the Red Cross has said it hopes to get a flight carrying aid into the now rebel-held capital, Sanaa, on Wednesday. Spokesperson Sitara Jabeen told the DPA news agency that the plan was to send a plane from Jordan carrying 16 tons of medical aid. If that goes well, another flight could follow on Thursday. Jabeen said the ICRC was still working to gain permission to deliver aid into Aden via sea.
The fighting in Aden pits forces loyal to Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the city for Saudi Arabia last month, against the Houthi rebels, who are being supported by loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
pfd/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)