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Red Sea Port of Hodeidah at Heart of Yemen War

Red Sea Port of Hodeidah at Heart of Yemen War

Wednesday, 13 June, 2018 - 19:15
Houthi militants in Yemen. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah serves as the entry point for at least 70 percent of Yemen’s imports.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition launched on Wednesday a campaign to recapture the strategic port city from the clutches of the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

The Houthis pose a threat to Red Sea navigation and their control of the port has deprived the Yemeni people of humanitarian aid.

Hodeidah, the capital of the province of the same name, is located about 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia, said an AFP report on Wednesday.

It is situated about 230 kilometers west of the capital Sanaa, which is also controlled by the Houthis.

The city is home to 600,000 people, half of whom are children, according to UNICEF.

Hodeidah sits on Yemen's western Red Sea coast along a flat plain, flanked to the east by a mountainous region separating it from the capital.

Hodeidah airport, located to the south of the city, has been closed since the coalition launched its intervention in 2015.

Yemeni pro-government commanders said Wednesday that retaking the airport was the first step of their operation to secure the city.

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