‘No civilian casualties in Hodeidah Airport battle,’ Col. Malki tells Al Arabiya
There have been no civilian casualties in the battle to liberate Yemen’s Hodeidah Airport, Arab Coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said in an interview with Al Arabiya from Brussels, accusing the Houthis of placing tanks inside residential areas.
"We are now destroying Houthi fortifications near the airport," he said, adding that the operation has not resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis in Hodeidah.
"Hodeidah port is operating as normal and the movement of ships is normal," Malki said. "We have humanitarian and development plans for when we liberate the entire city."
Arab Coalition forces launched strikes on Houthi militia targets in the key port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday as Yemeni armed forces de-mined neighborhoods.
An Al Arabiya English correspondent reported the strikes on eastern Hodeidah and said on the ground, armed forces were combing through residential areas in the city.
This came after Yemeni government forces seized Hodeidah airport from Houthi militias, their commander said, in a major step towards retaking the city.
"The airport was completely cleared, Thank God, and is under control," coalition commander Abdul Salaam al-Shehi said in a video posted by the United Arab Emirates' official WAM news agency.
Last Wednesday, government forces launched an offensive to clear Hodeidah of Houthis who have held it since 2014,