Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The military coalition led by the Saudi regime has carried out airstrikes targeting the main entrance to Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah, some five months after coalition forces, backed by armed militia loyal to the former Yemeni government, launched a full-scale offensive to seize the vital port.
The main gate “was the target of airstrikes… but the port is operating normally,” said the port’s deputy director Yahya Sharafeddin on Tuesday, adding that at least two airstrikes had hit the entrance, leaving three guards wounded.
Other reports said that a single-storey guardroom had taken a direct hit from the strikes, which killed at least one soldier.
Back in June, the coalition, backed by loyalists of Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned amid popular discontent and fled to Saudi Arabia three years ago, started a massive offensive against Hudaydah, which is currently under a tight siege imposed by the invaders.
The so-called liberation operation, however, has so far failed to achieve its objective, which is overrunning the vital port and defeating fighters of the Houthi Ansarullah movement, backed by those from the Popular Committees. However, the Saudi-led forces on November 1 commenced a fresh wave of airstrikes and ground invasion in an attempt to capture the city of some 600,000 people.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Sharafeddin said that despite the air raids, the vital docks were operating normally. Some 80 percent of Yemen’s commercial imports and nearly all UN supervised humanitarian aid pass through these docks.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported that Saudi-led airstrikes had claimed the lives of at least eight people and wounded several others in Jarrahi district of Hudaydah.
In a separate report on Tuesday, al-Masirah cited Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree as saying that since early November, 867 mercenaries and those loyal to Hadi had been killed in various fronts and 2,150 others were wounded.
He added that 1,224 of Riyadh’s mercenaries and Hadi’s militia had either been killed or wounded in Hudaydah alone.
Leading a coalition of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Hadi.
Since the onset of the imposed war, the Yemeni army, backed by Houthi fighters, has been defending the impoverished nation against the brutal aggression.
Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of its objectives. Riyadh had declared at the start of the invasion that the war would take no more than a couple of weeks.
The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
According to a recent report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are accused of being complicit in the deadly campaign as they supply Riyadh with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.