Arab coalition troops stormed the airport in Yemen’s main port Hodeidah on Tuesday and captured large areas of the compound in battles with Iran-aligned Houthis, a Yemeni military source, the UAE news agency and local residents said.
Residents of the strategic Red Sea city said battles were also raging on the coastal road leading to the densely populated city center from the airport, with Apache helicopter gunships of the Western-backed coalition providing close air support.
Wresting the airport from the Houthis would be a significant step to a takeover of Hodeidah by coalition-backed forces. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged a swift assault to avoid disrupting aid deliveries to Yemen through the port.
“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” a resident close to the coastal strip told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified.
“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the Corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes. Many people are fleeing these neighborhoods and going deeper into the city center.” …
Read more : Reuters, 19.06.2018