BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 P.M.) – The Gulf-backed forces launched a massive military operation last week that targeted the Houthi-held areas of the Hodeideh Governorate.
Within hours of launching this offensive, the Yemeni Republican Guard and UAE-backed Southern Resistance Army managed to score a major advance in southern Hodeideh, forcing the Houthi troops to retreat to the area just south of the provincial airport.
Over the next few days, the Gulf-backed troops worked their way up to the Hodeideh Airport, where they expected to overrun the installation shortly after it.
However, the Houthi forces have proven unwilling to concede this strategic installation to the Gulf-backed troops, which has infuriated the Arab Coalition.
In a matter three days, the Gulf-backed troops have repeatedly failed to expel the Houthi forces from the Hodeideh Airport, despite having air supremacy and superior firepower.
Infuriated over the Houthi forces’ refusal to give up, the UAE issued an ultimatum to the former, demanding that they immediately withdraw from the Hodeideh Airport before any peace talks could begin.
The Houthi forces responded by launching several drone strikes on their positions in western Yemen.
Since receiving this response, the Arab Coalition has launched over ten airstrikes over the Hodeideh Airport.
For the Houthi forces, losing the Hodeideh Airport would be devastating, as it would pave the way for the Gulf-backed troops to attack the provincial capital.
The provincial capital is also the location of the Hodeideh Port, which is the last port that is under the control of the Houthi forces.
If the Hodeideh Port is lost, the Houthi-held areas in Yemen will be under a land, air, and sea siege.