The Saudi-led military coalition has sent 10,000 of troops to Yemen’s Hudaydah ahead of a fresh offensive against the blockaded port city, a report says.
Leading a coalition of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned amid popular discontent and fled to the Arab kingdom.
Since the onset of the imposed war, the Yemeni army, backed by fighters of the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, has been defending the impoverished nation against the brutal aggression. The coalition is also resolute to crush the movement as another goal in its war on Yemen, which is teetering on the edge of famine.
More than three and a half years into the war, Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of its objectives. Riyadh had declared at the start of the invasion that the war would take no more than a couple of weeks.
Back in June, coalition forces, backed by armed militia loyal to Hadi, launched a full-scale offensive against the Houthi-held Hudaydah, which is currently under a tight siege imposed by the invaders. The so-called liberation operation, however, failed to achieve its objective, which is overrunning the vital port and defeating Houthi fighters, backed by those from the Popular Committees.
Citing an unnamed military official from Hadi’s so-called government, AFP reported on Tuesday that the pro-Hadi coalition would deploy reinforcements to the Red Sea coast ahead of a new offensive on Hudaydah “within days.”
The official further claimed that they would “secure areas liberated” from Houthi fighters, adding that Sudanese forces had moved in to “secure” areas around the city, through whose docks over 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass.
He said they would also “secure areas liberated” from the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and that forces from Sudan, part of the coalition, had already moved in to “secure” areas around the city.
Over the past several month, humanitarian organizations have warned that military operations against Hudaydah threaten to cut off essential supplies to millions of Yemeni people. More than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports pass through Hudaydah’s docks.
The coalition claims Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by Ansarullah fighters.
Yemenis target Saudi base in Asir
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network, citing a military source, reported that Yemeni forces had targeted a new military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Asir with a short-range Badr-1 missile, adding that the projectile had struck the designated target with precision.
The official also said that the retaliatory missile strike had inflicted heavy human and material damage.
The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.