Yemeni army takes Hodeidah’s main hospital from Houthis

A file photo of a column of Yemeni government forces and armoured vehicles near Hodeidah. (AFP)

The Yemeni army forces have taken the main hospital in the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah from the Houthi militias, government military officials said on Saturday.

The May 22 Hospital lies in the east of the city, a key aid conduit.

On Thursday, the Yemeni army backed by Arab coalition air strikes entered the city pushing towards the port and using bulldozers to remove concrete road blocks installed by the Houthis.

Officials said pro-government forces of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi supported by the coalition took over the hospital on Friday evening.

Amnesty International had accused the Houthis on Thursday of “deliberate militarization” of the facility after they stationed fighters on its roof.

A medical source told AFP on Wednesday that the Houthi militias forced staff out of the hospital and set up sniper positions.

Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s commercial imports and practically all UN-supervised humanitarian aid pass through Hodeidah’s port.

The Houthis have controlled Hodeidah since 2014 when they overran the capital Sanaa and swept through much of the rest of the country, triggering an intervention by the Arab coalition in support of the legitimate government.

The Houthi militias have since been driven out of virtually all of the south and much of the Red Sea coast.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58