Hodeidah Battle Flares Up

Hodeidah Battle Flares UpHodeidah Battle Flares Up

Forces from a Saudi and Emirati led coalition have taken control of the airport in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, military officials linked to the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi claimed on Twitter.

In a post on Saturday, an account associated with the Saudi-aligned Yemeni military said the airport had been “freed from the grip of the Houthi militia” and that de-mining operations were ongoing, Al Jazeera reported.

Hodeidah airport is located just to the south of the city-proper with heavy fighting still ongoing on Hodeidah’s southern edges.

Houthi sources have not yet confirmed their loss of the airport.

Heavy fighting has left at least 39 people dead as of Thursday, including 30 Houthi forces, and nine pro-Hadi troops.

  Looming Catastrophe

Hodeidah is home to about 600,000 people and a port responsible for 70% of imports into Yemen, raising fears the fighting could ignite a humanitarian catastrophe.  

The UN Security Council has expressed its “deep concern” over the fighting and UN officials have warned of a risk of famine.

Adana Dieng, UN special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, said the attack on Hodeidah could heighten the risk of famine.  

“The Yemeni port [of Hodeidah] is a lifeline for the delivery of aid and the coalition’s air attacks can kill many more people over time through famine and hunger when damaging such civilian infrastructure,” Dieng said in a statement.

More than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of aid, including 8.4 million who are at risk of starvation, according to the UN, which considers Yemen to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

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