Battle for Yemen's biggest port under way

Tribal fighters loyal to the Yemeni government stand by a tank in al Faza area near Hodeida Yemen

Yemen's biggest port, Hodeidah is the lifeline for the majority of Yemen's population, which lives in Houthi territory.

The United Nations and aids groups have been scrambling to stall the attack, warning that an assault on Hodeidah could spiral out of control, compounding already arguably the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.

The Arab states' aim is to box in the Houthis in Sanaa, cut their supply lines and force them to the negotiating table. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other members of the coalition have fought to restore the ousted government and roll back Iran's influence in the region.

For a little more than three years, Yemen has been locked in a seemingly intractable civil war that has killed almost 10,000 people and pushed millions to the brink of starvation. Meanwhile, the U.N. and Western nations say Iran has supplied the Houthis with weapons from assault rifles up to the ballistic missiles they have fired deep into Saudi Arabia, including at the capital, Riyadh.

Yemen's United Nations humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande said a "worst case" in an assault on Hodedia would mean 250,000 people "losing everything - even their lives". Some 8.4 million people in Yemen face pre-famine conditions, according to the World Health Organisation. However, Griffiths' recent appointment as envoy and his push for new negotiations may have encouraged the Saudi-led coalition to strengthen its hand ahead of any peace talks with the Houthis.

"Under worldwide humanitarian law, parties to the conflict have to do everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they have access to the assistance they need to survive", Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, told Reuters by e-mail.

Washington had also cautioned against the assault. This has made it by far the most important port for humanitarian aid, with estimates that as much as 70% of aid comes through the port.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators including leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to express their "grave alarm" about circumstances in Hodeida.

Ivanka Trump's tweet of a 'Chinese proverb' leaves Chinese people confused
It refers to a fable about a man who persisted in his attempt to level a mountain he found inconvenient by dogged digging. In China, where Twitter is blocked, screenshots of Ivanka's saying circulated on the social media site Weibo.

Speaking to reporters this week, Mattis said that US support would continue at its current levels, and suggested USA aerial refueling, which lengthens flight times, increased the accuracy of Saudi and UAE bombing raids and so cut down on civilian casualties.

It wasn't immediately clear what specific American support the coalition was receiving Wednesday.

The exiled Yemeni government said in a statement issued by its media office said that cCoalition warplanes and warships were carrying out strikes on Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the Red Sea port in operation "Golden Victory".

The Houthis, drawn from a Shi'ite minority that ruled a thousand-year kingdom in Yemen until 1962, deny they are Iranian pawns.

The coalition says one of the main justifications for its intervention is to protect Red Sea shipping, which brings Middle East oil and Asian goods to Europe through the Suez Canal.

The UAE's Gargash said plans were in place to keep the port operational and urged the global community to pressure the Houthis to evacuate and leave the port intact, without planting mines.

UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem al-Hashimy said if the port was no longer under Houthi control then the coalition could ease controls aimed at denying arms to the group by doing away with inspections at the Saudi port of Jizan.

Related:

  • Speedster Concept harks back to 1948 original

    Speedster Concept harks back to 1948 original

    On that note, Porsche is aiming for a range of over 500km between charges, and there are some serious performance claims too. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric motors, and a new body shop will also be developed.
    Angelina Jolie Could Lose Physical Custody of Kids to Brad Pitt

    Angelina Jolie Could Lose Physical Custody of Kids to Brad Pitt

    She's in London filming the sequel to Maleficent and Brad is going to get plenty of summer time with the kids across the pond. The schedule involves each child except for Maddox , who is being allowed to make his own choices because he is older.
    Final ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2 Trailer Teases the Marvel Series’ Return

    Final ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2 Trailer Teases the Marvel Series’ Return

    In addition to Woodard and Shakir, " Luke Cage " stars Mike Colter as the titular hero, as well as Rosario Dawson and Theo Rossi . But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can't save.
  • Trudeau’s criticism will cost Canada ‘a lot of money’

    Trudeau’s criticism will cost Canada ‘a lot of money’

    Trump's latest twitter tirade came after he arrived in Singapore for his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. And chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow accused Trudeau of betrayal and stabbing Trump in the back.

    Cyberpunk 2077: Main Character, Customization, Exploration Revealed

    Furthermore, characters will have access to skills, perks, and attributes which will govern how they interact with the world. However, it is stressed that Cyberpunk 2077 is an RPG with FPS elements, not the other way round.
    Donald Trump talks about G7 post Singapore summit

    Donald Trump talks about G7 post Singapore summit

    Trump acted following Trudeau's reiteration of Canada's opposition to new US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The President of the United States, Donald Trump , has threatened to impose a tax on imported vehicles.
  • Here's why Meghan Markle has to stand behind the other royals

    The duchess stepped out looking all glam in a pale pink, off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress with a matching wide-brimmed fascinator.
    PM Modi posts exercise video after Kohlis challenge, nominates Kumaraswamy

    PM Modi posts exercise video after Kohlis challenge, nominates Kumaraswamy

    Apart from Yoga, I walk on a track inspired by the Panchtatvas or 5 elements of nature - Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vayu, Aakash . This is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating.
    Superfan spreading soccer spirit ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Superfan spreading soccer spirit ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup

    The event, kicking off June 14, will take place in various cities across Russian Federation , from Moscow to St. Robbie Williams will sing at the opening ceremony of the Football World Cup in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
  • Ministers win key Brexit bill vote after concession

    Ministers win key Brexit bill vote after concession

    The government is resisting the changes, which are aimed at softening the terms of the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. That has potentially seismic consequences for the protracted and increasingly messy split from Brussels.

    Mattis not surprised by Trump's call to end military exercises: Pentagon

    That U.S. command said it had "received no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises". According to Trump, the suspension of joint exercises with South Korea will help to save a lot of money.
    President Trump slams Robert De Niro as 'a very Low IQ individual'

    President Trump slams Robert De Niro as 'a very Low IQ individual'

    Robert De Niro presenting during the 2018 Tony Awards . "I watched him. and truly believe he may be "punch-drunk"," he said. How no one has looped that into one of those 10-hour videos of him just saying " Fuck Trump " over and over is beyond me.

Comments

Latest news

Canada-Mexico to host World Cup 2026
The two highest-ranked teams according to FIFA's rankings will receive byes, while the other four will play knockout games. Large votes are often swayed by small concessions promised to the right number of smaller nations or by regional biases.

Arsenal close in on double signing to bolster back division
He has one Uruguay cap and was included in Óscar Tabárez's World Cup squad for the tournament in Russian Federation this summer. And it appears he is close to getting his man, with Sport Bild reporting that an official announcement is expected soon.

Meaningful vote rejected: how key MPs voted on the Brexit amendment
Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit. Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation , the E.U.

Sanford loses primary to challenger Arrington in 1st congressional district race
Incumbent Henry McMaster has been forced into a runoff for the Republican nomination in South Carolina's gubernatorial primary. Tuesday demonstrated yet again just how strong the anti-incumbency mood is among Republican primary voters.

Gang break into home and shoot man dead, seriously injuring his girlfriend
Wilk , also known as Nick, ran a garden maintenance business in the area and had lived in Ireland for a number of years. After the armed men fled the scene, a auto was found burned out in the Waterfall area around five miles away.

Takfiri terrorists attack besieged Shia towns in Syria's Idlib: Monitor
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said strikes had also hit near a children's hospital, putting it out of service. The fighting, which was continuing Sunday, had killed six Syrian pro-regime fighters and at least three from HTS.

Trump aide sorry for 'place in hell' quip
He also said the US had a trade deficit of $17 billion with Canada, though he implied that it might be as large as $100 billion. The United States imposed new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum less than two weeks ago on a "national security" basis.

Horn defends title against Crawford
When Horn, 30, bulled Crawford to the ropes in the sixth round, Crawford got away after landing a left uppercut that stunned Horn. Crawford was nearly impossible to hit at times despite all the work Horn had done on his footwork in preparation.

WC 2018: Blow for France as Mbappe suffers injury
Griezmann said: "We know it will be hard , but we have the squad and the dressing room to achieve something big". I feel comfy in the system and I'm close to (manager, Didier) Deschamps.

Feds arrest dozens in alleged wire transfer scam
Sometimes they'll ask for sensitive information such as employee tax records instead of, or in addition to, asking for money.

Australia says end to South Korea-US war games not a certainty
I think that he truly did not die in vain". "So talking about withdrawal of U.S. forces is something that needs to be really thought through".

Manchester United hope to sign Toby Alderweireld within days
That's where Alderweireld comes in despite not featuring for the London club often last season due to injury. The deal for the Brazil global should be confirmed within the next week.

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement in name dispute
The new name will need to be approved by the Macedonian people and the Greek parliament, but by the sounds of things it's a goer. In a statement, the Party of European Socialists (PES) welcomed the agreement reached by the two Prime Ministers.

Don't Step on Louboutin's Red-Soled Shoes, EU Court Says
However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said that shape trademarks do not apply to Louboutin's red sole. Under EU law it was argued companies can not trademark common shapes such as the soles of shoes.

Bethesda announces ‘Elder Scrolls: Blades’ coming to iOS this fall
However, no further information on the game such as where the game will be set up or what story to be expected from it. The team behind it is obviously proud of it, and when Bethesda are proud of something, we know it's going to be great.

Other news