TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Saudi-led forces have reportedly seized the airport in Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah, AP quoted Yemeni sources as saying.
The armed militants loyal to ex-Yemeni president issued a statement Saturday morning, saying that engineers now were trying to remove mines left by the Houthi Ansarallah forces.
The Houthis Ansarullah movement did not immediately acknowledge losing the airport.
Hudaydah International Airport is on the south side of the city, which is home to some 600,000. So far, fighting has yet to enter Hudaydah’s downtown or its crucial port.
Meantime, some media outlets have reported that only the airport’s nearby areas have fallen into the hands of Saudi-led forces.
The warplanes and warships of Saudi-led coalition have been pounding Hudaydah since Wednesday to seize the strategic port, which is controlled by the Houthi forces.
The port is the main route for essential goods into Yemen, where 22 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 8.4 million face starvation, according to the United Nations, which says the figure could reach 10 million by year end.
Aid agencies have said the battle may exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.
The UN has warned that in a worst-case scenario, the battle could cost up to 250,000 lives and cut off aid supplies to millions of people.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Over 14,000 Yemenis, including women and children, have died in the deadly military campaign.