Saudi-led forces begin siege on Hodeidah 

On Wednesday, 13 June, the Saudi-led coalition launched a full-scale military operation to retake Hodeidah from rival Houthi rebels despite repeated UN warnings against it. The latest siege potentially puts millions of people at risk and is likely to escalate the four-year civil war that already killed thousands of people and significantly damaged the country’s economy.

The battle for Hodeidah is very likely to become a significant turning point in the conflict as the city plays a key role in ensuring the flows of aid and supplies for the Houthis amidst a blockade by the Saudis on the country’s borders. By cutting off the rebel supply route in Hodeidah, it could also pave ways for Saudi-backed forces to retake the Yemeni capital, Sana’a on a longer term. Despite this, it is not going to be an easy ride for the Saudi-led coalition as the city is heavily-mined, thus slowing down the force’s progress to capture it.

The following is a timeline of the siege on Hodeidah:

Wednesday 13 June– Saudi-led coalition launches operation against Houthi rebels in Hodeidah

  • The Saudi-led coalition begins a military operation in Hodeidah in the early hours of the day. Gunfire and explosions were reported in the city that has been under the firm control of the Houthi rebels since 2015.

Thursday, 14 June – Casualties reported amid heavy clashes in the city’s outskirts

  • Heavy clashes killed at least 39 people outside of Hodeidah as the Saudi-led military operation entered its second day.

Friday, 15 June – Entrance of Hodeidah International Airport blocked by militants

  • Pro-Arab militants blocked the entrance of Yemen’s Hodeidah International Airport (HOD), as part of the Saudi-led military operation in the area.

Saturday, 16 June– Saudi-led forces seize control of airport in Hodeidah

  • Saudi forces launched airstrikes on Hodeidah airport amidst claims that they have taken control of the facility. The claim however was later dismissed by the Houthis.