Joint Yemeni forces foil Houthi attack

Joint Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition foiled an attack carried out by the Houthi militia in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a military official has confirmed.

“The Houthis launched an offensive and attempted to achieve on-ground military advancement into Hays district in Hodeidah’s southern part, creating tension in the strategic port city,” Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying on Thursday.

Several elite military units, known as the Guardians of the Republic, are currently controlling key strategic areas on the western coast of Yemen and sporadically engage in fighting with the Houthis.

Following the attack on Hays, the units were mobilised which began a large-scale military campaign to secure Yemen’s strategic areas located on Hodeidah, according to the official.

Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has witnessed a shaky ceasefire between the government and the Houthi group since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.

The truce was seen as the first phase toward a nationwide cease-fire to end Yemen’s years-long military conflict, but fighting continued across the impoverished Arab country.

Hodeidah is under the control of the Houthis, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern districts.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.