United Nations fears disastrous impact of attack on Yemen’s Hudaydah port

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United Nations fears disastrous impact of attack on Yemen’s Hudaydah port

The Yemeni official further said the coalition had so far failed to capture the strategic airport let alone the port city itself despite all their forces and military equipment, adding that the Saudi-led alliance tried hard to launch a successful media war against Yemeni forces and to lower their morale by spreading fake news, including the purported fall of the airport.

The airport, which includes civilian and military zones, was now being combed for any remaining pockets of rebels after days of intense fighting, said Abdulrehman al-Mahrami, who leads the Yemeni forces on the west coast front. They said the rebels have fortified the area in preparation for a likely coming battle against government forces. Among them were roadside bombs disguised as rocks that the research group has said bear similarities to others used by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and by other Iran-backed fighters in Iraq and Bahrain, suggesting at the least an Iranian influence in their manufacture. "We an hear the sound of artillery and machinegun fire", said a resident who requested anonymity.

There was no immediate comment from Aramco or Saudi officials about the claim.

The battle for Hudaydah was the Saudi-led coalition's largest military operation since it intervened in the Yemeni conflict in 2015.

Col. Turki Al-Malki, spokesman of the Coalition forces to restore legitimacy in Yemen, said that the missile was launched deliberately from Saada governorate of Yemen to target densely populated civilian areas.

The weeklong assault has left almost 350 people dead, with sources in Hodeidah hospital telling AFP the airport battle alone killed 156 Houthis and 28 coalition soldiers.

The port remains open for incoming ships and Gargash said the UAE had plans for "airdrops" of food if necessary.

Gargash said the coalition was counting on Martin Griffiths, the United Nations special envoy for Yemen who arrived in Sanaa on Saturday, to broker a Houthi agreement to leave Hodeidah.

The U.N. said on Monday that over 5,200 families have fled the fighting since June 1.

Emirati forces are leading ground forces mixed with their own troops, irregular militiamen and soldiers backing Yemen's exiled government.

The Saudi-led coalition hasn't received active targeting help from the US, though it has offered guidance on avoiding civilian casualties in the past and midair refueling.

There are fears that the assault could have grave consequences for the humanitarian situation in Yemen, which with 22 million dependent on aid and 8.4 million on the verge of starvation is already the world's worst, according to the United Nations.

About 70 percent of Yemen's food and most of the humanitarian aid and fuel supplies enter through the port. Almost 10,000 people have since been killed.

The Houthis seized control of Sanaa in September 2014, later pushing south toward the port city of Aden.

The Houthis, meanwhile, have laid land mines, killing and wounding civilians.

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