Fighting rages around airport in Yemen port city of Hodeida

Fighting rages around airport in Yemen port city of Hodeida

The UN security council - which discussed the battle on Thursday - says the Hudaida port must remain open for humanitarian deliveries.

Ahmed al-Kawkabani, who leads a force known as the Tohama Brigade, tells The Associated Press on Friday that fighting is ongoing at the town of Dawar-al-Hodeida at the outskirts of the city.

The possibility of food running out is also among the residents' main fears.

Neither Saudi and Emirati-backed government forces nor the Huthi rebels show any signs of backing down in the fight for Hodeida.

A Houthi statement warned commercial ships in the Red Sea, one of the world's most important trade routes, to stay 32 kilometres (20 miles) from coalition warships or potentially face attack.

Abu Zaraa al-Mahrami, the commander of the west coast front, said the Yemeni army and resistance forces are "only meters away from the Hodeidah Airport" after they've seized several areas and inflicted heavy losses on the Houthis.

Communications sector employee Mohammed said that the battle of Hodeidah would be a pivotal point in the course of the liberation of the whole of Yemen, which he described as transgressed upon by "Iranian militias".

The assault began Wednesday to seize Hodieda's vital Red Sea port, known as the "mouth of Yemen" because it's the entry point of most of the country's imports and United Nations humanitarian aid.

Hodeida, home to almost 600,000 people, is some 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, which is under Houthi control. He said it would take Arab forces about 72 hours to clear mines from Hodeidah's port or airport once it captures them.

The United States rejected a UAE request for intelligence, minesweeping and airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets for the military operation in Yemen's Hodeidah, a UAE official said on Thursday.

Fighter jets from the Saudi-led Arab coalition pounded coastal areas south-east of the city on Friday as residents gathered at dawn in an open area for Eid Al Fitr prayers, Reuters reported.

More news: Building heat and humidity this weekend
More news: Trump says U.S. must pursue peace with North Korea ‘at all costs’
More news: Why plastic straws are being axed by McDonald’s

According to a Reuters report, one U.S. intelligence official said that the UAE request for military and intelligence support was dismissed.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and a bloc of other countries intervened in Yemen the following year with the goal of restoring the government to power.

"They did not encourage us, but did not discourage us", the official said.

For its part, the Saudi-led coalition says it had no choice but to launch the assault as the port provided millions of dollars for the Houthis through customs controls.

"I urge all parties to the conflict to meet their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and take active steps to respect global humanitarian law", David Beasleye, executive director of the UN World Food Program, said in a statement.

"Should we leave the Houthis smuggling missiles?"

Fighting on the ground is focused on the area around Hodeidah's airport, to the south of the city, and the United Nations reported that aid shipments continued to flow at Hodeidah's port.

The battle for Hodeidah "could have a devastating impact on civilians both in the city and elsewhere in Yemen", Human Rights Watch's Whitson said.

On Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition launched a major operation to recapture the port of Al-Hudaydah - a vital supply line for humanitarian aid entering the war-torn country.

The port is also a lucrative source of revenue for the Houthis, who control most of Yemen's north since 2014.

Related Articles

  • UN Resolution on Gaza Blow to US

    UN Resolution on Gaza Blow to US

    The US amendment condemning Hamas received 62 votes in favour, with 58 against and 42 abstentions. Categorically against the adoption of the Document by the United States of America and Australia.
    Enormous python swallows woman whole while she is gardening

    Enormous python swallows woman whole while she is gardening

    The python attack is the second in Indonesia since March 2017, when a 25-year-old man was swallowed whole. Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.
    'Genius' Messi can lead Argentina to World Cup glory, insists coach Sampaoli

    'Genius' Messi can lead Argentina to World Cup glory, insists coach Sampaoli

    The underdog story continued through World Cup qualifying, with Iceland becoming the smallest country ever to make the tournament. Sergio Aguero put Argentina ahead, only for Alfred Finnbogason to quickly level matters midway through the first half.
  • Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border

    Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border

    Sources say that as soon as Fazlullah boarded the vehicle missiles fired from an unmanned American aircraft hit them. If his killing is confirmed by the USA , it could possibly ease the strained ties between America and Pakistan.
    Historic video review helps France top Aussies in World Cup

    Historic video review helps France top Aussies in World Cup

    But Paul Pogba won a tight match for the 1998 champions when his shot bounced over the line off the crossbar in the 81st minute. It's the ideal start for France , whose ambition is to finish at the top of a group that also includes Peru and Denmark.
    Spurs fan burns Kawhi Leonard jersey

    Spurs fan burns Kawhi Leonard jersey

    Teams would be hesitant to trade for Leonard without assurance that he would re-sign with them next summer. Acquiring Leonard would play a big part in that regard.
  • Sri Lanka captain charged with same ball-tampering offence as Bancroft

    Sri Lanka captain charged with same ball-tampering offence as Bancroft

    That match was the only Test in the game's history to be forfeited after Pakistan refused to return to the field. But the home side was all out in quick succession after tea for 300, a lead of 47 on the first innings.
    Italy threatens not to ratify EU-Canada trade deal

    Italy threatens not to ratify EU-Canada trade deal

    Another challenge in the talks is the tariffs the United States levied on Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel. More than eight in 10 Canadians and seven in 10 Americans worry the situation has damaged bilateral relations.
    Fire engulfs Glasgow art school

    Fire engulfs Glasgow art school

    Writing on Twitter , Paul Sweeney, a Glasgow MP, said: "It looks like the entire interior space is now fully alight". Nearby buildings have been evacuated as fire crews continue to tackle the "well-developed" blaze.
  • Donald Trump ignites trade war with China, triggering swift retaliation

    Donald Trump ignites trade war with China, triggering swift retaliation

    Numerous exports are linked to the nation's " Made in China 2025 " plan to lead the world in sectors like AI and robotics. The ministry announced Friday that it will immediately add tariffs of "equal scale and equal strength" on US products.
    Eight people injured after taxi hits crowds in Moscow

    Eight people injured after taxi hits crowds in Moscow

    The incident occurred on Ilyinka Street, a short distance from Red Square, a popular tourist attraction in the Russian capital. The Moscow traffic authority posted on Twitter a copy of what it said was the taxi driver's license.
    Yussuf Poulsen goal powers Denmark to 1-0 win over Peru

    Yussuf Poulsen goal powers Denmark to 1-0 win over Peru

    It was a sublime save that secured all three points for Denmark from a game many observers feel they probably deserved to lose . It was to prove a costly miss, and Peru must be more clinical if they are to have any chance of qualifying.