BFF-40 80 killed in armed confrontations, airstrikes in Yemen’s Hodeidah: medics

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80 killed in armed confrontations, airstrikes in Yemen’s Hodeidah: medics

ADEN, Yemen, Nov 11, 2018 (BSS/XINHUA) – Armed confrontations between
Yemen’s government forces and the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea port city of
Hodeidah left around 80 dead within the past 24 hours, local sources said on
Sunday.

A medical source based in the city confirmed to Xinhua that “the majority
of the killed people were Houthi fighters targeted by Saudi-led airstrikes
during the ongoing fighting in Hodeidah.”

“Hospitals in Hodeidah received up to 61 bodies of Houthi fighters who were
killed either by airstrikes or during fighting with the government forces,”
the source added.

In the government-controlled province of Aden, a medical source at
Jamhuriah public hospital provided Xinhua with the death toll of soldiers who
were killed in fighting with Houthis in Hodeidah.

“A total of 19 soldiers were killed in Hodeidah. They were transferred to
Aden and then to different areas in neighboring southern provinces,” the
source said.

He added that most of the killed soldiers were from Abyan while others from
Lahj and joined the anti-Houthi campaign in Hodeidah a few days ago.

Meanwhile, warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition launched heavy airstrikes
and targeted a number of Houthi-controlled areas in Hodeidah, causing huge
blasts.

Earlier in the day, the Houthi fighters and pro-government Yemeni forces
exchanged heavy artillery bombardment, according to local residents.

On Saturday, forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government continued
heavy clashes and pushed deeper toward the strategic port city of Hodeidah
following several days of ferocious fighting with the Houthi rebels.

Air-covered by warplanes of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, the pro-
government forces largely advanced on-ground and managed to enter a number of
neighborhoods in Hodeidah after expelling the Houthi rebels.

The Saudi-backed government forces vowed to continue to push forward in an
attempt to seize full content over the city’s strategic port, but Houthis
face the offense with stiff resistance.

Yemen’s Internationally-backed government and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly
accused the Houthi rebels of using Hodeidah’s port to smuggle Iranian
weapons. Both Houthis and Iran denied the accusation.

Hodeidah is the most important and only point of entry for food and basic
supplies to Yemen’s northern provinces controlled by Houthis, including the
capital Sanaa.

The Arab coalition intervened in Yemen’s conflict in March 2015 to roll
back Shiite Houthi rebels and reinstate Yemen’s legitimate President Abdu-
Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

BSS/XINHUA/SSS/2009 hrs