HODEIDAH, 13th June 2018 (WAM) – With land, sea and air support by the UAE Armed Forces, the Arab Coalition and the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces began today a decisive military operation to liberate Hodeidah city and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, who rejected peaceful solutions.
The forces managed to liberate new strategic areas in Al Duraihimi district and areas adjacent to Hodeidah airport after penetrating the Houthi militias frontlines. Following the collapse of their defences, the Houthi fighters abandoned their positions, while their commanders fled the areas after the defeat.
In a statement made to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Colonel Sadiq Al Duwaid, Spokesman of the Yemeni National Resistance, said the joint resistance forces made a huge advance towards the city of Al Hodeidah, closing in 8 kilomteres within the city’s airport and controlling the districts of Al Nekhailah and Al Taif, south of Hodeidah, amid major collapse in the Houthi militias ranks. The Arab Coalition’s fighter jets pounded the Houthis reinforcements, while the resistance forces killed and captured dozens of Houthi fighters.
“The Yemeni resistance forces foiled attempts by the Houthis to infiltrate Al Madman area in Tahtia towards Al Faza in what appears to be a desperate move to raise morale of their defeated fighters,” he added.
The Spokesman of the Yemeni national Resistance pointed out that the operation to liberate Hodeidah goes side by side with a comprehensive humanitarian relief plans to help the people of the city to overcome the difficulties caused by the blockade imposed by the Houthi militias, who adopted the tactics of starvation and intimidation of civilians as part of foreign agenda to destabilise Yemen.
“Humanitarian aid and relief operations feature as top priorities for the Arab Coalition countries,” he noted.
Colonel Al Duwaid revealed that several Houthi fighters were killed in confrontations with resistance forces, while their commanders fled the battle front en mass, leaving behind their dead elements and weapons.
“The successive victories in the Rea Sea Coast show that people’s determination will always prevail over conspiracies and terrorist practices and that the Houthi rebels’ days are numbered after the Yemenis demonstrated steadfastness at its best. Yemen is being liberated one city at the time, thanks to the efforts and firm strand of the Arab Coalition countries who offered great sacrifices and wrote an epic of heroism and glory.”
The importance of Hodeidah lies in the fact that it has one of the key strategic ports on the Red Sea Coast. Its liberation will deal a major blow to the militias who have been exploiting it for illicit arms smuggling operations from Iran and as a strategic base for threatening international shipping.
The liberation of Hodeidah port will also cut supplies of the Iranian weapons, used against the Yemeni people, expand the legitimacy- liberated areas, enable resumption of secure navigation and dries up smuggling sources for the Iranian-backed militias.
The re-taking of Hodeidah Port will also represent a major development as it will mean the fall of last key entry point for smuggled weapons to Houthis and pave the road for liberating the remaining coastal governorates in northern Yemen and for regaining control of this main gateway to the capital Sana’a.
Hodeidah port is also considered a key connection point to the strategic Yemeni islands and the last port remaining in the hands of the Houthi militias after liberation of the ports of Mocha and Midi.
The port has been used by Iran to smuggle weapons that have sustained the Houthis’ aggression. Its liberation will also mark an end to the threats posed at international shipping in Bab al-Mandeb and to the Iranian supplies.
The liberation of this lifeline port will act as culmination of the vital role played by the UAE Armed Forces. It will also have a direct impact on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, given its strategic importance as a key entry point for humanitarian, food and medical supplies to Yemen.
Hodeidah has a unique and strategic location with a 300 kilomtere stretch on the Red Sea Coast. The 17,000 square kilometer port city has 26 districts, sharing borders with the governorates of Ibb, Dhamar, Taiz, Sana’a, Hajja, Al Mahwit and Raymah. It is the third populated governorate after Sana’a and Taiz, with 2.5 million people, or 11 percent of Yemen’s total population. Its prime economic activities are agriculture, fishing and tourism.