SANAA, Yemen — Troops from a US-backed, Saudi-led coalition pounded Houthi rebel positions in Yemen’s Hodeida with airstrikes and a ground assault on Wednesday and now control a major road leading into the city, military officials and witnesses on both sides of the front line said.

An Emirati-trained force known as the Giants, backed by Apache attack helicopters, secured an urban area along 50th Street, which leads to the city’s key Red Sea port facilities, they added.

They said the Iran-backed Shi’ite rebels had been firing mainly from elevated and rooftop sniper positions, and have resorted to burning tires to obscure the gunships’ view. Most civilians have fled the area, they said.


Dozens of fighters have been killed and hundreds wounded from both sides since a renewed coalition offensive on the city began five days ago, following calls by the Trump administration for a cease-fire by late November.

The Saudi-led coalition, which seeks to restore to power the internationally recognized Yemeni government, has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.

associated press