Backed by the Arab Coalition, the Joint Forces have stormed the strategic Airport of Hodeidah and have taken control over large areas of its main compound.
The port city’s residents have reported that clashes and confrontations have raged on the coastal road leading to the densely populated areas near the Airport.
This comes as Apache helicopter gunships of the Arab Coalition continue to provide close support from the air and gunships from the sea.
“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 Centre.”
Saudi and UAE state media accused the Houthis of shelling civilian districts. Residents said the Houthi tanks were targeting coalition forces.
The Arab Coalition has launched the onslaught on Hodeida, the Houthis’ sole port, on June 12 to try and turn the tables in a long-stalemated proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has exacerbated turmoil across the Middle East.
The UAE state news agency WAM said large swathes of the airport compound had been taken by coalition forces. Houthi media said coalition warplanes had carried out more than 40 strikes on the airport since the morning.
The escalation in fighting has wounded and displaced dozens of civilians and hampered humanitarian agencies trying to send vital aid to millions of Yemenis via the Red Sea port.