Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen's Hodeidah
RIYADH, June 13, 2018 (News Wires) -- Troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition on Wednesday launched an assault on Yemen's main port city of Hodeidah, in the biggest battle of a three-year war between an alliance of Arab states and the Iran-aligned Houthis.
Coalition warplanes and warships were carrying out strikes on Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the Red Sea port, the internationally recognised Yemeni government in exile said in a statement.
The "Golden Victory" operation began after the passing of a deadline set by the United Arab Emirates for the Houthis, who hold the capital Sanaa, to quit the sole port under their control.
Hodeidah is the lifeline for the majority of Yemen's population, who live in Houthi territory.
Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al Houthi, who has threatened attacks on oil tankers along the strategic Red Sea shipping lane, warned the Western-backed alliance not to attack the port and said on Twitter his forces had targeted a coalition barge.
The assault is the first time since the Western-backed coalition of mostly Gulf states joined the war in 2015 that they have attempted to capture such a well-defended major city, with the aim of boxing in the Houthis in Sanaa and cutting their supply lines to force them to the negotiating table.
Preparations in full swing
The Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces increased their readiness to the maximum in preparation for the liberation battle of Al Hodeidah city from the Houthi militias.
A source from the Yemeni National Resistance said that a large number of forces from Brigades AlAmalaqah and the Tihama Resistance Forces, armed with modern weapons and in high morale, have arrived at the outskirts of Al Hodeidah city to continue their build-up in the front lines in preparation for the battle of rolling back the Houthi militias and putting and end to the coup plot in Yemen.
He also added, "the Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces deployed large reinforcements in Al Hodeidah front and took positions in the outskirts of the city in preparation for the big liberation battle".
Our military tactics focus on saving the lives of the civilian people and the infrastructures to ensure the liberation of the city without any civilian causalities, he added.
The member countries of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen are aiming to improve the humanitarian conditions across the areas to be liberated in Al Hodeidah city, to be on par with the other areas that have been liberated from the grip of the Houthis in Yemen's Red Sea
Coast and to help the Yemeni people to overcome the dire conditions caused by the terrorist practices of the elements of the militias.
He also pointed out that the Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces are continuing the large scale combing operations in the farms of Al-Jah city to thwart any infiltration attempt by the Iranian-back Houthi militias to boost the declining morale within their ranks.
"Our forces discovered large quantities of weapons cache, ammunitions and RPG shells that belong to the militants," added the sources.