A street vendor sells vegetables in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, June 14, 2018. As the attacks enter the second day, the United Nations Security Council has called for an emergency session, according to Reuters. Ambassador Obaid Salem al-Zaabi told a news conference.
Coalition-backed Yemeni forces took control of al-Durayhmi in southern Hodiedah province, an armed forces faction said in a statement. The United Nations says 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, with 8.4 million on the verge of starvation - a figure that could rise to 10 million by the end of this year, For most, the port is the only route for food supplies.
"The Houthis' continued obstruction with regards to Hodeidah is due to their use of the port to raise revenues through looting, extortion, and illegal taxation imposed on commercial ships to finance and sustain their military aggression against Yemen and neighboring countries", charged Prince Khalid.
The city of Hodeida, home to 600,000 people, was captured by the insurgents in 2014 along with the capital Sanaa.
The assault marks the first time the Arab states have tried to capture such a heavily-defended major city since they joined the war against the Iran-aligned ruling Houthis, who control Sanaa and most of the populated areas.
March 23, 2015: The battle for Aden begins.
Responding to the early stages of the attack-which began with an estimated 30 Saudi airstrikes within half an hour, guided by USA military intelligence-Win Without War wrote on Twitter that the attack is "a dark moment of shame for the United States".
"We do not provide any additional support to the Saudi coalition's military operations", he said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said any battle for Hodeida would exacerbate the suffering of the population. The Pentagon declined comment. According to the Houthis, a pair of missiles struck a landing ship as it was conveying equipment and personnel ashore, leading to the retreat of a flotilla of coalition vessels and a search and rescue operation. The Houthis generate $30 million to $40 million a month in revenue from the port, the UAE official estimated.
Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi criticised the coalition's allies.
The myriad partnerships and agreements concluded by the UAE and Saudi Arabia with several global organisations to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the largest possible numbers of Yemeni society, including those living in areas still under the grip of the Houthis, bear witness to the tremendous efforts made by the pro-legitimacy powers.
"A military attack or siege on Hodeidah will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians", the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the country, Lise Grande, warned in a statement on Friday.
A view of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, May 10, 2017.
The coalition has blocked most ports, letting supplies into Hodeida in coordination with the U.N. The air campaign and fighting have disrupted other supply lines, causing an economic crisis that makes food too expensive for many to afford.
A column of Yemeni pro-government forces and armored vehicles arrives in al-Durayhimi district, about nine kilometres south of Hodeidah worldwide airport on June 13, 2018.
The Senate bill includes a national security waiver that would allow the Trump administration to continue support for the coalition without certifying that it is meeting the stringent criteria.
The United Nations had been engaged in negotiations with stakeholders in the conflict in an effort to avoid a large-scale confrontation, and following a U.K. request, the U.N. Security Council is expected to meet to discuss the situation on Thursday.
The alliance intervened in Yemen to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and thwart what Riyadh and Abu Dhabi see as the expansionist aims of their Shi'ite foe, Iran.