Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Houthis launch 'large-scale' attack on Yemen's Hodeidah

Pro-governent forces said at least one soldier had been killed and one injured

Yemeni government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition advance during fighting against Houthi rebels on the outskirts of the port city of Hodeidah. EPA
Yemeni government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition advance during fighting against Houthi rebels on the outskirts of the port city of Hodeidah. EPA

Houthi rebels launched a "large-scale" attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah on Sunday night, a spokesperson for the pro-government forces said.

Col Wathah Al Dubaish of the Arab coalition-supported joint forces in Hodeidah said the attack targeted their forces and at least one soldier affiliated to them was killed and another injured.

No further information was made available on the total number of casualties.

A military source in the operations room in Hodeidah told The National that it was the biggest attack since the ceasefire was announced in December 2018.

The Houthi escalation comes as the government gears up to resume talks with the United Nations towards the implementing of the Stockholm agreement, which was reached in December between the government and the rebels. It involves a prisoner swap, and freeing the airport in Sanaa and Hodeidah port.

The UN’s special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is scheduled to visit Russia on Tuesday to revive political efforts to resolve the Yemen crisis.

He is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his deputy Sergei Vershinin. Mr Griffiths will after that travel to the UAE and Oman.

Deputy governor of Hodeidah Waleed Al Qudaimi said that despite the recently-broken ceasefire, Houthi militia have been digging trenches in the streets of the city.

“The Houthi rebels are preparing for a new round of fighting. They are taking advantage of the worsening humanitarian situation in the city to hire civilians to dig tunnels and make trenches in the city centre,” he said.

“They have been blocking the streets with barricades.”

The joint forces in the south announced this week that they have liberated Al Azarik in Al Dhalea province from the Houthis.

Updated: July 1, 2019 02:21 PM

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