Why liberating the airport is critical for Hodeidah

Following their terrible defeat at the Hodeidah Airport on Tuesday and their expulsion, the Houthis directed their weapons and tanks toward residential neighborhoods in the area.

They have begun to terrorize innocent civilians and nothing has deterred them from using them as human shields to prevent the Yemeni and the Arab coalition forces from attacking them.

This Houthi behavior is nothing new as they have relied on subjugating people in Hodeidah via siege, starvation and exploitation of their humanitarian tragedy. However, the people of Hodeidah have proven their legendary steadfastness over the past three years.

ALSO READ: Liberation of Hodeidah and the rapid strategic shift

The victory achieved by the al-Amalaqah Brigade (Giants’ Brigade) and the Yemeni forces, aided by the UAE armed forces within the Arab coalition, is a great victory that confirms that the coalition along with Yemen’s men are capable of triumphing and restoring lands and cities which the Houthi militias have seized with Tehran’s direct support.

The soldiers who headed to liberate Hodeidah were full of confidence that they will win. Therefore they steadily advanced despite the terror strikes carried out by the Houthis in Hodeidah and the media war launched to distort the role of the Yemeni resistance, the joint Yemeni forces and the Arab Coalition.

When Hodeidah and its port are liberated, Houthis will have to sit on the negotiation table and accept the political solution they have long rejected

Mohammed al-Hammadi

First victory

The first victory was thus achieved and they restored the airport. The important phase of the Hodeidah battle, i.e. liberating the port which the Houthis use to receive weapons and loot resources to prolong the war, has now begun.

The Houthi militias and their Iranian contractors are aware that the forces fighting to liberate Hodeidah have the capability to end the operation quickly. However, their priority to protect civilians and vital and public facilities makes them assess their moves well and avoid civilian casualties. There is no doubt that they are waiting for the date of the upcoming battle which to liberate the Hodeidah port.

When Hodeidah and its port are liberated, the Houthis will have to sit on the negotiations’ table and accept the political solution they have long rejected and acted arrogantly in compliance with Iran’s orders not to end the war and as they thought they’re the stronger party on the ground.

ALSO READ: Arab coalition’s stance in Hodeidah needs to be lauded

What will happen in the next few days will dismay Iran and the Houthis as the routes used to smuggle weapons to the latter will be cut. During a press conference, attended by local and international reporters in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, the UAE Armed Forces presented evidence that showcased advanced weapons that consist of rockets, drones, ballistic missiles and other weapons found in the Houthi militias’ possession in Yemen.

These weapons give conclusive evidence of Iran’s involvement in the war in Yemen. Therefore, the international community must bear its responsibilities and apply international laws on this regime, which has been igniting the war in Yemen and nurturing it for years.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Mohammed Al-Hammadi is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper and Executive Director of editing and publishing at the Abu Dhabi Media Company. He founded and was Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic edition of National Geographic magazine, and has held numerous positions in journalism since joining Al Ittihad in 1994. Al-Hammadi has been a columnist for more than 15 years, including writing a daily column for seven years and producing a weekly political column in Al Ittihad since 2001. He has also worked as a parliamentary editor for seven years, covering the proceedings of the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to being an active participant on social networks, Al-Hammadi has an interest in new media and is currently working on a project to ease the transition from traditional to digital and smart media. Al-Hammadi has received numerous awards and is a member of a number of organizations and federations. He features regularly in broadcast media as a regional political commentator and has authored several books including Time of Ordeal (2008), The UAE Democracy (2009) and The Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood (2016). Twitter: @MEalhammadi.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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