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Saudi-led coalition attacks Yemen's key port of Hodeidah

13 June 2018 - 20   - 0

ADEN (Reuters) - A Saudi-led coalition launched an assault on Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday in the biggest battle of a three-year war between an alliance of Arab states and the Iran-aligned Houthis.

Coalition warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the country’s largest port, the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile said.

The “Golden Victory” operation began after the passing of a deadline set by the United Arab Emirates for the Houthis, who hold the capital Sanaa and the main populated areas of Yemen, to quit the sole port under their control.

The Red Sea port is a lifeline for Yemenis, handling 80 percent of essential goods to the impoverished country, which the United Nations says is grappling with the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Some 8.4 million people in Yemen face pre-famine conditions, according to the World Health Organisation.

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, who has threatened attacks on oil tankers along the strategic Red Sea shipping lane, warned the Western-backed alliance not to attack the port and said on Twitter his forces had targeted a coalition barge.

 

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