Battle for Yemen's biggest port under way

Yemeni pro-government forces arrive in al Durayhimi district about nine kilometres south of Hudaydah international airport

Locals reported convoys of vehicles speeding toward the city, and heavy gunfire was reported around the outskirts of the city.

Saudi-owned satellite news channels and later state media announced the battle had begun, citing military sources.

The initial battle plan appeared to involve a pincer movement.

Field commanders said that troops pushed towards Hodeida International Airport after Yemeni pro-government forces received a "green light" from the coalition. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to brief journalists.

"The liberation of the province of Hodeidah from the grip of the. militias, will be the beginning of the complete victory for the liberation of all the Yemeni lands", Yemen's government in exile said in a statement.

Hodeidah, Yemen's biggest Red Sea port and the only one under Houthi control, serves as the lifeline for the majority of Yemen's population, which lives in Houthi territory.

On Wednesday, the Houthis said they targeted a coalition warship off the coast of Al Hudaydah with two missiles, with rebel outlet Al-Masirah claiming a direct hit. Houthi forces have fired such missiles at ships previously. There was no immediate confirmation from the coalition.

Tribal fighters loyal to the Yemeni government stand by a tank in al-Faza area near Hodeida, Yemen June 1, 2018.

Hudaydah, 140km (90 miles) west of the capital Sanaa, was Yemen's fourth-largest city and a major economic hub before rebels took control of it in late 2014.

The news came Wednesday night after United States military officials said that the USA is helping the Saudi-led coalition choose targets that will minimize civilian casualties.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the Houthis on Tuesday that the "final hour" is approaching in Hodeidah.

The United Nations pulled all of its worldwide staff out of Hodeidah on Monday.

Uber to get a patent to identify drunk passengers
Uber has submitted an application to patent an artificial intelligence technology that identifies drunk passengers. If there are no drivers with expertise in such matters available, the drunk passengers could be denied service.

How Meghan Markle dared to break protocol at Queen's birthday parade
Once everyone arrived, the family gathered together on the balcony to observe the iconic fly-past by the Royal Air Force. The Duchess looked absolutely gorgeous in her bespoke Carolina Herrera dress and matching Philip Treacy hat.

Uber driver who booted 2 kissing women has licence suspended
Elbotari said that he would do the same for a straight couple, but admitted that he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple. Speaking to the New York Post , Pichl recounted what happened, saying: "We got over the Manhattan Bridge into the city.

"Hodeidah port remains open to shipping".

The official spokesman for the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Col. Worldwide observers have warned that a military fight over the port city could halt life-saving food and medicine and cause the starvation of millions. "The last thing we want is to prolong the war in Yemen". The Saudi-led coalition has been criticized for its airstrikes killing civilians.

Riyadh says the Houthis use the port to smuggle Iranian-made weapons, including missiles that have been launched at Saudi cities - accusations denied by the group and Tehran.

The war has also pushed Yemen into near starvation. The coalition has blockaded most ports, letting supplies into Hodeida in coordination with the United Nations. A Saudi-led airstrike in 2015 destroyed cranes at Hodeida.

"In a prolonged worst case, we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything - even their lives".

United Nations refugee chief Filippo Grandi said there was a danger Yemenis might try to flee across the sea to Somalia or Djibouti.

"We hear sounds of explosions. This is possibly what we're most concerned about".

"We have had more than 30 airstrikes within 30 minutes this morning around the city. Some civilians are entrapped, others forced from their homes", said Jolien Veldwijk, the acting country director of the aid group CARE International, which works in Hodeida. "That was the situation before, and now it is going to get worse".

The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said the world body was talking to both sides to try to avert a battle.

Washington had also cautioned against the assault.

"I think the Emiratis have done a good job in presenting compelling arguments about why an operation (on Hodeidah) could in the end tip the balance and apply enough pressure to bring the Houthis to the table", a Western diplomat said on Monday.

Related news:

Hot News

Here are the cities that will be hosting the 2026 World Cup
Jun 13, 2018 - 23:16
After the summit, Trump attacked Trudeau as "dishonest" and "weak." and accused him of making false statements around the tariffs. Where, exactly, the World Cup will be played, and whether all three host nations will automatically qualify for the tournament.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Spain sack coach one day to World Cup kick off
Jun 13, 2018 - 23:13
The 50-year-old Hierro, a former national team player and Real Madrid captain, will be taking on his first major coaching job. In quotes to Marca, Xavi's said that " Lopetegui's decision, for me, was inopportune, unexpected and rushed".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Court approves merger of AT&T and Time Warner
Jun 13, 2018 - 23:06
Most notably, Disney's ongoing offer to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion , which Comcast is expected to compete against. Judge Leon also said it would be "unjust" for the Justice Department to seek to put a hold on the deal pending an appeal.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rumor: LeBron James, Chris Paul could team up with Rockets or Lakers
Jun 13, 2018 - 22:50
Coincidence? Curse? We can't call it, but maybe you guy can. "There's a sense of pride around those things", Curry said. Other possible destinations for James include Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, San Antonio, Golden State and Miami.

Dancing FBI agent appears in court in back flip gunfire case
Jun 13, 2018 - 21:42
It shows the agent dancing for the crowd and after he does a backflip, the weapon falls out of the back of his waistband. The agent, who was off-duty at the time, was filmed dancing erratically at the Mile High Spirits bar in Denver .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump's personal attorney splits with his own legal team
Jun 13, 2018 - 21:40
Trump has acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for the payment, but he has denied that the affair with Daniels took place. A federal judge has set a June 15 deadline to determine which records from that raid fall under attorney-client privilege.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Has Theresa May only delayed her Brexit defeat by a few days?
Jun 13, 2018 - 21:27
Dominic Grieve , arch-Remainer and leading rebel, has tabled his own amendment which is a compromise on the meaningful vote one. The issue seen as most likely to provoke a rebellion was that of giving MPs a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trade War: Merkel Threatens US Over Trump Tariffs - Leah Barkoukis
Jun 13, 2018 - 21:07
Canada exports $300 billion worth of goods to the United States, while the US exports $282.5 billion worth of goods to Canada. Mulroney has acted as an informal advisor on US trade to Trudeau's Liberal government. "That was a mistake".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Stranded migrants to be taken to Spain, says French charity
Jun 13, 2018 - 21:02
Doctors Without Borders reported that 15 of the migrants needed medical attention for severe chemical burns. The migrants were rescued in six separate night-time operations in the central Mediterranean on Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NASA's Opportunity Rover Hit By Enormous Dust Storm On Mars
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:59
The dust storm, meanwhile, is now not affecting the Curiosity rover , which was the subject of NASA's recent press conference. The rover has proved hardier than expected by lasting almost 15 years, despite being designed for a 90-day mission.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. Extradites Ex-Panama Leader Back Home for Trial
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:46
Martinelli had initially contested his extradition in the US , but dropped his appeals. Panama qualified for the tournament, which begins on Thursday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump responds to viral G-7 photo
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:28
The president also commented on his relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , saying he was surprised by Mr. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lambasted the US President Donald Trump's decision to renege on the G7 joint statement .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SNP walk out of Commons after freaky Speaker row
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:27
My mixed sequence of advice is that is better for the vote to be conducted at the conclusion of questions to the prime minister... The Scottish First Minister added: "The decision to act without our consent, and the manner of doing it, will not be forgotten".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fyre Festival Promoter Billy McFarland Arrested On Fraud Charges
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:25
He's also had to come up with $26 million to repay those festival investors he defrauded. Hulu announced in April it was producing a documentary series about the Fyre Festival.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Clippers Trying to Trade Up for Luka Doncic
Jun 13, 2018 - 20:04
If any team is willing to part ways with their top-five pick, Tobias may be the guy that makes a potential deal fall through. Los Angeles now owns both the No. 12 and No. 13 picks and could package them with a player to move into the top 10.