Saudi-backed Yemen forces start ‘vast offensive’ to capture Hodeidah from Houthis

Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition launched on Friday a “vast offensive” to take full control of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the government based in the southern city of Aden said on Friday. “A military operation has begun and the national army forces have advanced towards the north and the western sides of the city of Hodeidah, progressing from all front with the support of the Arab coalition,” it said. “Fierce battles are taking place at these moments.” Nearly half a million people have fled their homes in Hodeidah and surrounding areas since June but fighting has now blocked exit routes, a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said earlier on Friday, according to Reuters.