groundwork

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The statement added: "The Secretary-General is concerned about the intense and ongoing air strikes and the ground fighting in Yemen despite his repeated calls for cessation of hostilities.
Speaking today (17 Feb) to the Security Council, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed stressed that many parts of the country are again witnessing airstrikes and extensive ground fighting.
Ground fighting and airstrikes have killed around 6,000 people during the nine-month war in impoverished Yemen.
Yesterday's offensive in central Syria and the ensuing clashes with militants, including al Qaida's Syrian branch, was the first major ground fighting since Moscow began launching air raids in Syria last week.
Plenty of setbacks have overshadowed the US coalition against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria, from failing to form an effective ground fighting force, to seeing significantly lower results than expected in beating back the militants over the last year.
Coalition air strikes and ground fighting have killed over 4,500 people in Yemen since the foreign intervention began on March 26.
On Sept 23, US General Lloyd Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee that only "four or five" US-trained rebels were on the ground fighting in Syria.
Conflict escalates as Turkey battles both the Islamic State and the Kurds who are on the ground fighting the Islamic State
Ground fighting, random shooting, and roads blockade made many residents choose to escape by boat, and according to locals few boats during the past week transported residents from conflict areas to safer locations.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he was gravely concerned about the"continued ground fighting and aerial bombardment in Yemen and its impact on innocent civilians".
But hours later, air strikes and ground fighting resumed and the International Red Cross described the humanitarian situation as "catastrophic.
In the first three months of 2015, civilian casualties from ground fighting were up eight percent on the same period last year, a recent U.