Arab coalition to send 10,000 troops to liberate Hodeidah from Houthis

Military preparations are underway to end civilian misery in key port city

A soldier loyal to Saudi-led coalition forces stands guard near ships docked in the southern Yemeni port of Aden on October 29, 2018. Saudi ambassador to Yemen arrives in the southern Yemeni port of Aden to oversee an aid delivery of fuel from Saudi Arabia. / AFP / Saleh Al-OBEIDI
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The Arab coalition in Yemen on Tuesday deployed 10,000 additional troops to the rebel held port of Hodeidah, ahead of a new offensive, Yemeni government officials told The National.

"Preparations and military endeavours are underway to put an end to people's misery that are caused by the Houthi rebels," Hamza Ali Kamali, member of the Yemeni government delegation to Geneva, told The National.

Military operations have been renewed during the last two days in the vital port city aiming to push back the rebels, but they still hold parts of Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa.

"We have received military equipment from the legitimate forces and the Arab coalition to start a new offensive in the Hodeidah front and the Yemen west coast to regain the port," Mr Al Kamali said.

Millions of civilians are on the brink of famine as aid agencies are struggling to find a way to ensure relief reaches those in need especially in Houthi held areas, despite assistance from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The port is the entry point for more than 70 per cent of imports to the country, which is on the brink of famine.

Houthi militias are accused of blocking vital aid from entering vulnerable cities as the country experiences one the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, Mohammed Askar, Yemen's Human Rights Minister, told The National.

Civilians are struggling to survive as the economy collapses and cripples state institutions.

After the failure of UN-backed talks in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on the port.

Clashes between Houthi rebels and government forces erupted last week, prompting the Arab coalition to caution residents to avoid Houthi gatherings and to stay indoors.

More than 40 rebels were killed and wounded in clashes with the Yemeni army in east of Hodeidah, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed has vowed to improve the country's economic crisis.

Mr Saeed arrived for the first time since he assumed office to Aden on Tuesday and said that the government is facing “great difficulties as a result of the country’s deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation”.

"Economic and public reforms, reconstruction, infrastructure repair and normalisation of conditions in liberated areas are at the top of my government’s agenda," Mr Saeed told reporters.


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