1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Yemen: Government forces storm Hodeida airport

June 19, 2018

The pro-government Saudi-led coalition has said they have recovered most of the strategic airport from the Houthi rebels. The city of Hodeida had been under Houthi control since late 2014.

Armored vehicles of the pro-government coalition heading to Hodeida Airport
Image: Getty Images/AFP/N. Hassan

Troops loyal to the Yemeni government entered the airport in the city of Hodeida on Tuesday. The move is part of a major offensive that began on June 13 to retake the Red Sea port.

"With the participation and support of the Emirati armed forces, the joint Yemeni resistance (army) entered Hodeida airport," the UAE state news agency WAM said in a tweet, backing up the reports given to DPA.

Capturing the airport would mark a crucial gain in the government's struggle against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, as approximately 80 percent of imports and aid supplies that reach Yemen enter Hodeida's port.

Read more: Assault on Yemen's Hodeida will bring 'famine' and 'devastation'

The airport is located around 14 kilometers (8 miles) from the city's harbor.

The city of Hodeida has been under the control of Houthi militia since late 2014, when the rebels overran Yemen's capital Sana'a.

Map of Yemen showing Hodeida and the capital city Sanaa

UAE and Saudi support

Military sources say they have taken most of the airport, following heavy fighting with the rebels and thanks to air support from a Saudi-led alliance. The offensive has been backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Read more: Yemeni journalists face death threats, kidnappings

Yemen is one of the Arab world's poorest countries and it has been the scene of chaos since a power struggle between a Saudi-backed government and the Houthis began in 2014.

The UN has described the situation on the ground for civilians as the scene for the world's worst ongoing humanitarian crisis, with 22 million people out of the country's 27 million inhabitants in need of aid.

jcg/kms (dpa, AFP, AP)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.