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Iran-backed Houthis launched missiles from civilian port and airport: Coalition

Published: Updated:

The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched four ballistic missiles at the northern town of Harad in Yemen from the civilian port Hodeidah and Sanaa International Airport, the Arab Coalition announced on Monday.

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Fighting in the town has intensified as military forces from Yemen’s internationally-recognized government push to retake it from the Houthis.

“The military use of Hodeidah port and Sanaa airport threatens regional and international security,” an Arab Coalition spokesperson said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Yemen’s army backed by the coalition air force is fighting a battle in the town where Houthi leaders are besieged, Yemeni military sources told the Okaz newspaper.

Government forces have called on the Houthis in Harad to surrender peacefully, but they have refused, according to Okaz.

The Houthis gained control of Hodeidah port, one of the country’s most strategically important, in November.

In January, the United Arab Emirates-flagged ship Rwabee was seized by the Houthis off Hodeidah.

The United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA) soon afterwards expressed “great concern” over claims that the Houthis were militarizing the port, stating that the port was vital for the impoverished country and demanding an inspection.

The Arab Coalition has in recent months stepped up air strikes on Sanaa airport, which it says harbors missile and drone launch sites.

The Houthis regularly fire missiles and drones at sites in southern Saudi Arabia.

In January, the Houthis launched unprecedented attacks on the UAE, killing three civilians.

Yemen’s civil war has been raging since 2014 when the Houthis took the capital Sanaa from the internationally-recognized government.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in 2015 as part of the Arab Coalition.

With Reuters

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