Yemen's Houthi Rebels Say They're Withdrawing From Key Ports

(Bloomberg) -- Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have started to withdraw from the Red Sea port city of Hodiedah, a key lifeline for food and supplies, months after the United Nations brokered an agreement to spare it from a prolonged conflict.

The Shiite rebels said they were also withdrawing from the ports of Salif and Ras Eisa, in line with a UN announcement about their unilateral redeployment, according to the Saba news agency. Three UN teams are supervising the withdrawal, which is part of an agreement struck with Yemen’s government in Stockholm in December.

The war, which is seen as a proxy battle for regional influence between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, has ravaged a country already struggling with deep poverty and dysfunction. Thousands of civilians have been killed, with millions more either fleeing or forced from their homes. Three-quarters of the country’s 28 million people need aid to stave off hunger and disease, according to the UN.

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