Global News

Saudi-Led Coalition Begins Attack on Yemeni Port Held by Houthis

Saudi-Led Coalition Begins Attack on Yemeni Port Held by Houthis

After the first day of fighting, the coalition failed to capture the Red Sea city or to take possession of its airport.

With anti-government forces embedded in the city, military victory in Hodeida "seems a very tall order" and an assault on the city would only lead to further bloodshed, he warned.

"Any attack on or significant, long-term disruption of operations of the port will have catastrophic consequences for the people of Yemen", Frank McManus, the International Rescue Committee's country director in Yemen, told ABC News.

The Houthis at the same time claimed to have hit and sunk a coalition warship with two missiles, according to Jane's 360. But it could set off a prolonged street-by-street battle that inflicts heavy casualties. The city is vital for aid shipments, as about 70 percent of Yemen's imports go through its port.

In reality, families in Hudaydah are already starving and desperately relying on humanitarian aid.

The initial battle plan appeared to involve a pincer movement.

The fighting Wednesday led to the closure of Hudaida's Red Sea port, which will affect food and medicine deliveries to Yemen.

"The liberation of Hudaydah port is a turning point in our struggle to recapture Yemen from the militias that hijacked it to serve foreign agendas", the exiled government said in a separate statement carried by state-run Yemeni media.

Hodeidah port is also considered a key connection point to the strategic Yemeni islands and the last port remaining in the hands of the Houthi militias after liberation of the ports of Mocha and Midi.

Wall Street sees two more Fed hikes in 2018, three in 2019
While many economists worry about a trade war harming growth, the Fed did not mention trade concerns in its statement. The Fed now envisions stronger growth this year - 2.8 percent, up from the 2.7 percent it predicted in March.

"Our destiny and that of Yemen will continue to be one, and our shared pain and bloodshed will draw us closer", the UAE strongman told Hadi, Yemen's state news agency Saba reported.

The coalition's initial assault on Hodeidah, which the United Nations has warned could end up killing 250,000 civilians and exacerbate the already bad humanitarian condition, included several airstrikes and also led to the capture of 140 Houthi fighters, UPI reported.

The city of Hodeidah, home to 600,000 people, was captured by the insurgents in 2014 along with the capital Sanaa.

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi has blamed the West for the assault: "The British told us a week ago that the Emiratis and the Saudis had told them they would not enter the battle of Hodeidah without their agreement and assistance".

The United Nations on Monday withdrew its global staff from Hodeida, saying an attack would "impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians". The port remains crucial for incoming aid, food and medicine for a nation driven to the brink of starvation by the conflict and a Saudi-led blockade. Several ships have arrived in recent days, including oil tankers, and there has been no word from the coalition or the U.N.to stop work, according to a senior port official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Other aid officials warn an attack on the port would set back chances of a political settlement and make it hard for the flow of aid to continue.

Over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's civil war, which has displaced 2 million more and helped spawn a cholera epidemic.

Workers inspect damages at the site of an air strike on the maintenance hub at the Hodeidah port, May 27, 2018.

Meanwhile, the UN and Western nations say Iran has supplied the Houthis with weapons from assault rifles up to the ballistic missiles they have fired deep into Saudi Arabia, including at the capital, Riyadh. Effort to kill Trump tariffs blocked Trump stokes confusion with pledge to halt Korean war games Five takeaways from Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWith caveats, Republicans praise Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un Pavlich: Pompeo: The man for the job on North Korea Five takeaways from Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un MORE on the eve of the offensive expressing "grave alarm".


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