The Arab Coalition forces have successfully fought their way to reach the main airport of the key port city of Yemen in a battle which could spell famine for millions of people. Hodeidah-the city under the control of Houthi rebels witnessed severe clashes in its Manzar neighbourhood around the airport wall. The residents of the area witnessed terrifying bombing of the Houthi positions in the area.
The Arab forces have met with little success ever since three years in their war to defeat the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Latter has been in control of the capital city Sanaa and also the primary port of Hodeidah along with other major areas. This is the first incidence when the coalition forces are trying to wrestle a major city from Houthis. There have been airstrikes along the main road which links Hodeidah to Sanaa in an attempt to disrupt the reinforcements for Houthis.
The attack is a major offensive by the Arabs who are confident of swiftly capturing the port without any kind of disruption to the supplies for the residents who are witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The UN has failed to find a diplomatic solution to the situation and has urged all parties to show restraint and not end up cutting off the single lifeline for millions of residents of the country who are completely dependent on aid, 8.4 million of whom are at immediate risk of starvation. UN has expressed concerns that even a small mistake can lead to a massive humanitarian catastrophe.
The Hodeidah port will give the Arabs an obvious edge in the 3-year-old conflict in which it has tried to restore the exiled government ousted by the Houthis. The whole operation is highly sensitive as it involves taking control over 600,000 people without inflicting any major damage to the port. The Arabs have maintained that the Houthis are basically a proxy force of Iran. Houthis have, however, denied the latter and maintain that they have ruled the Kingdom of Yemen for over 1000 year till 1962. They form a Shiite minority group.
The Houthis leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi has called on its forces to face the enemy who is basically instruments of the United States and Israel. US has reportedly denied a request for help in form of intelligence, air-reconnaissance and mine-sweeping operations to UAE for carrying out the Hodeidah operation.