Press TV – Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, loyal to ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, claim that they have seized the airport in the port city of Hudaydah from the Houthi Ansarullah fighters.
Brigadier Abdul Salaam al-Shehi, a Saudi-led coalition commander in Yemen’s Red Sea coast, said in a video posted by the UAE’s official WAM news agency on Wednesday that the Hudaydah airport is “completely cleared” and “under control.”
However, Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, a top figure in the Houthi movement’s Supreme Political Council, had early on Wednesday rejected reports of the airport’s seizure by the Saudi-led aggressor.
Shehi’s remarks came one day after the Saudi-led troops announced that they had entered the main compound of the Hudaydah airport amid a military offensive to capture the flashpoint port city.
The Hudaydah airport lies just eight kilometers from the city’s port, through which three-quarters of Yemen’s imports pass, providing a lifeline for millions of people.
Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, the United Arab Emirates and allied militants loyal to the former Yemeni government launched the Hudaydah assault on June 13 despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
The Houthis and allied armed forces, however, said that they have dealt a heavy blow to the aggressors, inflicting heavy losses on the invaders.
The UN says fierce clashes in the port city have driven 5,200 families from their homes.
The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging war against Yemen since early 2015, claims that the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the fighters.