10,000 Arab troops head to Hodeida

AL HOUTHIS STA­TION FIGHT­ERS ATOP BUILD­INGS AHEAD OF LOOM­ING AS­SAULT

Gulf News - - Gulf / Region -

The Saudi-led mil­i­tary coali­tion in Ye­men has sent more than 10,000 new troops to­wards a vi­tal re­bel­held port city ahead of a new as­sault, Ye­meni govern­ment of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

The pro-govern­ment coali­tion de­ployed the re­in­force­ments to the Red Sea coast ahead of a new of­fen­sive on Hodeida “within days”, a mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said. He said they would also “se­cure ar­eas lib­er­ated” from the Iran-backed Al Houthi rebels, and that forces from Su­dan, part of the coali­tion, had moved in to “se­cure” ar­eas around the city.

Al Houthi rebels have for the past 10 days been sta­tion­ing fight­ers on rooftops of build­ings in Hodeida city, govern­ment mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said.

The ad­ja­cent port is the en­try point for three quar­ters of im­ports to the im­pov­er­ished coun­try, which is tee­ter­ing on the edge of famine.

Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies in­ter­vened in Ye­men in 2015 to sup­port the le­git­i­mate in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Abd Rabbo Man­sour Hadi af­ter Al Houthis ousted it, cap­tur­ing swathes of ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing the cap­i­tal Sana’a. The coali­tion has used air power to push the rebels back from much of Ye­men, but Al Houthis have held onto Hodeida and Sana’a. Af­ter UN-backed talks col­lapsed in Septem­ber, the coali­tion an­nounced it was re­launch­ing an as­sault on Hodeida.

The fight­ing has since eased and Saudi-led forces have fo­cused their raids on the city lim­its. The UN warned last week that 14 mil­lion peo­ple in Ye­men now face a se­ri­ous threat of famine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.