Yemen under siege

by Deanna Maria R. & Emmy Hikins

Two factions, Houthi rebels and Government-loyal forces keep the city of Taiz in South-West Yemen, constantly under siege. The war has lasted for so many years that Taiz has been stamped, “the city of snipers”. The civil war, with Saudi air-strikes starting in 2015, has made Taiz citizens feel desolate and forgotten.

With shifting front-lines in Taiz, walking on the wrong side of the street could be detrimental to one’s health. BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet was briefed on the situation as she was guided through the streets of Taiz decked out in a bullet-proof vest that read ‘PRESS’ in big bold letters. As we are guided along with Lyse Doucet, we come to a crumbling soot-colored wall which is, for the moment, the front-line dividing the two factions at war. One side of the wall is the rebel force’s territory and the other side, those forces loyal to the government. We see BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet speaking to those against the Houthi rebels, having been given unprecedented access to the government-controlled side of the front-line.

With sirens blazing and shooting from both sides occurring, we hear Lyse Doucet tell her cameraman, ‘Dave’ to’ “be careful” as he quickly scampers to the crumbling front-line wall to capture the moment. As caution is taken while walking on the “safe side’ of the lane, a citizen of Taiz confirms the danger constantly present by stating, “We only go out when we have to”.