Report: Saudi-Led Troops Seize Hodeida Airport

Written by on June 16, 2018

Yemeni officials say Saudi-led forces have seized the airport in Yemen’s rebel-held port city of Hodeida.

The military loyal to Yemen’s exiled government issued a statement Saturday morning saying that engineers now were trying to remove mines left by the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge losing the airport.

Hodeida International Airport is on the south side of the city home to some 600,000. So far, fighting has yet to enter Hodeida’s downtown or its crucial port.

Death toll climbs

The death toll climbed to at least 280 on the third day of the campaign aimed at driving out the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, from the Red Sea port of Hodeida that is the main entry point for food and aid supplies in a country teetering on the brink of famine.

The Saudi-Emirati coalition bombed Houthi positions while rebels said in a statement that they fired a ballistic missile at pro-government forces, but gave no report of causalities.

The fighting comes at a time when Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. But in Hodeida, people were stockpiling what little food they could for fear of an imminent siege and streets were empty except for beggars and fighters.

Yemeni officials said dozens of pro-government fighters have been killed since the assault began Wednesday, mainly from land mines and roadside bombs disguised as rocks or sacks of wheat. On the rebel side, bodies of Houthi fighters were strewn across the front lines.


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