The battle to retake the Houthi controlled strategic port city and airport of Hudaydah heated up Thursday. Video footage from Al Jazeera showed a large convoy of UAE and Saudi backed forces headed towards the city from the main southern road. Online, A Houthi affiliated account posted a video of what showed a convoy of MRAPs heading down a road being ambushed with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles and heavy machine guns.
Fierce clashes could be heard at the southern entrance to the airport as clashes raged but it will still unsure by Thursday night who exactly was in control of the airport. Hudaydah is a strategically important city to the Houthis as it’s one of their last functioning ports which they have continued to rely upon for weapons and support from Iran. Hudaydah also serves as the main port for 80% of Yemen’s imports including food and grains donated by the World Food Program. Humanitarian workers are concerned that the fighting could exacerbate an already horrible humanitarian situation and could lead to the starvation of Millions. The battle is shaping up to be a turning point in the 3-year long conflict that has cost the lives of an estimated 20,000 and left another 3 million people displaced.