A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has launched an assault on the Yemeni city of Hudaydah, seeking to oust Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who control the strategic port.
The Saudis and Emiratis claim the Houthi rebels have been smuggling arms through the port of Hudaydah, including missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni troops, trained and funded by the United Arab Emirates, led Wednesday’s ground offensive, which began around daybreak. Yemen’s Arab neighbors intervened in the country’s civil war three years ago.
Yemen’s civil war began in 2015 in the wake of Arab Spring protests that toppled the country’s longtime autocratic president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Divisions over power-sharing gave way to military conflict, and competing forces now hold divided areas of the country.