Saudi-led alliance pounds Yemen’s main port city

ADEN A Saudi-led alliance of Arab states launched an attack on Yemen's main port city yesterday, the largest battle of the war, aiming to bring the ruling Houthi movement to its knees at the risk of worsening the world's biggest humanitarian crisis.

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation Golden Victory.

The assault marks the first time the Arab states have tried to capture such a heavily defended major city since joining the war three years ago against the Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the populated areas.

The port is the main route for food to reach most Yemenis, 8.4 million of whom are already on the verge of famine.

Care International, one of the few aid agencies still there, said 30 air strikes hit the city within half an hour.

"Some civilians are trapped, others forced from their homes. We thought it could not get any worse, but unfortunately we were wrong," said Care acting country director Jolien Veldwijk. - REUTERS