International

Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen’s port city

In this file photo, Yemeni children study in a classroom in the port city of Hodeidah, which was damaged in the country’s ongoing conflict between the Saudi-led Arab coalition and Shia Houthi rebels.

In this file photo, Yemeni children study in a classroom in the port city of Hodeidah, which was damaged in the country’s ongoing conflict between the Saudi-led Arab coalition and Shia Houthi rebels.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation “Golden Victory.”

A Saudi Arabia-led alliance of Arab states launched an attack on Yemen’s main port city on Wednesday, the largest battle of the war, aiming to bring the ruling Houthi movement to its knees at the risk of worsening the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation “Golden Victory”.

Ground battles raged near Hodeidah airport and al-Durayhmi, a rural area 10 km south of the city, media controlled by the Arab states and their Yemeni allies reported.

Biggest battle

The assault marks the first time the Arab states have tried to capture such a heavily-defended major city since joining the war three years ago against the Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the capital Sana’a and most of the populated areas.

The port is the main route for food to reach most Yemenis, 8.4 million of whom are already on the verge of famine.

The Houthis deployed military vehicles and troops in the city centre and near the port, as warplanes struck the coast to the south, said a resident. People fled by routes to the north and west.

CARE International, one of the few aid agencies still there, said 30 air strikes hit the city within half an hour.

The operation began after a three-day deadline set by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Houthis to quit the port.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 5:52:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/saudi-led-coalition-launches-attack-on-yemens-port-city/article24156187.ece

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