Yemen army shoots down Iran-made drone in Hodeidah

Saudi-backed Yemeni forces take back airport from rebels

Modal Trigger A column of Yemeni pro-government forces and armored vehicles. AFP Getty Images

Engineers worked to clear mines from areas around Hodeida International Airport, just south of the city of some 6,00,000 people on the Red Sea, the military of Yemen's exiled government said.

The fighting between the Iran-backed rebels and a pro-government alliance, led by Saudi Arabia, has raised United Nations fears of humanitarian catastrophe in a country already teetering on the brink of starvation.

Two lorries filled with the bodies of the Saudi and UAE-led coalition mercenaries arrived in the southern port city of Aden on Sunday, according to Yemenipress news website.

The Yemeni army on Saturday claimed it had seized control of the rebel base at Hodeida's disused airport, which has been closed since 2014.

Children stand behind a fence at a school to which they have been evacuated from a village near Hodeidah airport amid fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters in Hodeidah, Yemen June 17, 2018.

The fighting is already nearing densely populated residential areas, the Norwegian Refugee Council warned, and aid distributions have been suspended in the west of the city.

The rebels, who control the country's north including capital Sanaa, have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition that has fought them since 2015.

Yemen's government and its allies launched the offensive on Hodeida on Wednesday.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is spending his second day in Sanaa, the rebel-held capital.

Earlier this year, the Saudi-led coalition imposed a near-total blockade on the city's port alleging it was being used as a conduit for arms smuggling to the rebels by its regional arch rival Iran.

The battle for control of the airport is the biggest military offensive of the three-year-old civil war, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Security officials also said the Iran-backed rebels, known as Houthis, are holed up in the airport as the coalition forces attempt to drive them out.

Multiple rounds of UN-brokered talks between the rebels and the Hadi government have failed to find a solution to the conflict.

On Saturday he called for restraint and said he was in contact with all the warring parties in a bid to halt the fighting. The country's infrastructure and health system have been massively damaged and Yemen has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Latest News