Fighting rages around Yemen’s Hodeida airport
November 9, 2018 -- Despite U.S. calls for a ceasefire, the battle for the Yemeni port city of Hodeida is intensifying as government forces, backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes, advance on rebel positions.
Troops from the U.S.-backed coalition pounded Houthi rebel positions in Yemen's Hodeida with airstrikes and a ground assault over the last days and now control a major road leading into the city, military officials and witnesses on both sides of the front line said.
Dozens of fighters have been killed and hundreds wounded from both sides since a renewed coalition offensive on the city began five days ago, following calls by the Trump administration for a cease-fire by late November.
Meanwhile, Houthi rebels have unveiled a new artillery rocket capable of hitting targets in Saudi Arabia within a 130km-range. The Badr-1P’s similarity with Iran’s Fateh-110 missile will bolster claims that Houthis are developing rockets with direct help from Tehran.
The coalition has accused the Houthis of using Hudaydah to smuggle in weapons from their ally Iran. Both Iran and the rebels have denied this.
The fighting and a partial blockade by the coalition have also left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid, created the world's largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that has affected 1.1 million people.