The operation to retake the vital port city from the Houthis was launched on Wednesday morning, after the rebels rejected an ultimatum and refused to surrender the city by the end of Tuesday, a deadline set by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Al Arabiya reported.
Large-scale ground operations, supported by the air and naval forces of the Saudi-led coalition, began to move in on the city from numerous directions, a military source told Al Arabiya.
Recapturing Hodeidah and its port is crucial for the Arab coalition. Over the course of the conflict, Riyadh has repeatedly tried to blockade the docks, accusing Iran of using them to smuggle arms to the Houthi rebels.
Just days before the launch of the operation, the United Nations warned that an attack on the densely populated coastal city could cost up to 250,000 lives. Previously, international aid agencies voiced alarm over the “looming disaster,”stressing that a battle will jeopardize the delivery of the scarce humanitarian aid desperately needed by the civilian population.