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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Yemeni and UAE armed forces liberate areas near Hodeidah airport

Coalition and local fighters have taken over districts to the south of the city and are 8km from the airport

Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition travel to their positions during an assault on the port city of Hodeidah. EPA
Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition travel to their positions during an assault on the port city of Hodeidah. EPA

With land, sea and air support from the UAE armed forces, the Arab Coalition and the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces began a decisive military operation on Wednesday to liberate Hodeidah city and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

The forces managed to liberate strategic areas in Al Duraihimi district and areas adjacent to Hodeidah airport after penetrating the Houthi front lines. Following the collapse of their defences, the rebels abandoned their positions, while their commanders fled.

Colonel Sadiq Al Duwaid, spokesman of the Yemeni National Resistance, said the joint forces made a huge advance towards the city of Hodeidah, moving to within eight kilometres of the city’s airport and controlling the districts of Al Nekhailah and Al Taif, south of Hodeidah. Coalition fighter jets pounded Houthis positions, where dozens of rebels were killed or captured.

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More on the Hodeidah offensive

Offensive for the liberation of Hodeidah enters second day - live updates

Sulaiman Al Mazroui: Hodeidah operation to push Houthis to talks table

Opinion: The battle of Hodeidah is a watershed moment in the Yemen war

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“The Yemeni resistance forces foiled attempts by the Houthis to infiltrate Al Madman area in Tahtia towards Al Faza in what appears to be a desperate move to raise morale of their defeated fighters," he added.

Col Al Duwaid pointed out that the operation to liberate Hodeidah goes side by side with a comprehensive humanitarian relief plans to help the people of the city overcome difficulties caused by the blockade imposed by the Houthi militias, who have used starvation and intimidation of civilians as part of their agenda to destabilise Yemen.

“Humanitarian aid and relief operations feature as top priorities for the Arab Coalition countries,” he noted.

Col Al Duwaid said that several Houthi fighters were killed in confrontations with resistance forces, while their commanders fled the battle front en masse, leaving behind their dead and weapons.

“The successive victories in the Red Sea Coast show that people’s determination will always prevail over conspiracies and terrorist practices and that the Houthi rebels’ days are numbered after the Yemenis demonstrated steadfastness at its best. Yemen is being liberated one city at the time, thanks to the efforts and firm strand of the Arab Coalition countries who offered great sacrifices and wrote an epic of heroism and glory.”