- The UAE ship struck by Houthi missiles early Wednesday was a landing craft utility ship, a knowledgeable source told Business Insider, adding that the missiles were believed to be made by China or Iran.
- The assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah is ongoing after the UN Security Council rejected a joint statement on Thursday calling for the Saudi-led coalition to halt the operation.
- The UAE-led operation started early Wednesday and consists of a double envelopment of Hodeidah.
The UAE ship struck by Houthi missiles early Wednesday was a landing craft utility ship, a knowledgeable source told Business Insider, adding that the missiles were believed to be made by China or Iran.
The strike also killed four UAE soldiers, but the status of the ship was not available, the source said.
The ship was struck during the initial Saudi-led coalition assault on the Yemeni city of Hodeidah, which is spearheaded by the UAE and codenamed Golden Victory. The operation aims to take the port city from the Iranian-backed Houthis.
The coalition has said that the Houthis bring ballistic missiles from Iran into Hodeidah and use the port city as a main source of income.
The assault on Hodeidah, the largest battle thus far in the three-year war, is ongoing after the UN Security Council on Wednesday rejected a joint statement calling for the coalition to halt the operation.
As of Friday morning, coalition fighters had reached the airport on the south side of Hodeidah, according to Sky News. But bedlam has essentially ensued since the operation began.
In addition to the UAE ship getting hit, at least several dozen fighters from both sides have been killed, civilians in Hodeidah are reportedly fleeing, the coalition has conducted dozens of airstrikes, and the Houthis have fired missiles at Saudi Arabia.
The UN has warned that the assault could end up killing as many as 250,000 civilians and exacerbate the already terrible conditions in Yemen, as Hodeidah is the main hub for delivering humanitarian aid to the country, where millions are on the brink of famine.
Meanwhile, the Houthis have reportedly sent forces to Hodeidah from across Yemen to reinforce their lines.
“The Houthis have gathered a large number of their fighters in the city and on the outskirts,” Bassim al-Jenani, a freelance Yemeni journalist, told Middle East Eye. “They’ve brought in armoured vehicles and tanks into the city. At this moment they’ve dug up trenches and scattered landmines at the entrance of the coastal city.”
— Nadwa Dawsari (@Ndawsari) June 15, 2018
The US marginally backs the Saudi-led coalition, and it announced on Monday that it’s helping show the coalition which targets not to hit in order to limit civilian casualties.
The US also provides the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen with “limited intelligence sharing,” aerial refueling for coalition jets, and training to make coalition airstrikes more precise, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway previously told Business Insider.
Although the coalition says it has “exhausted” all diplomatic means and insists that humanitarian aid will continue once the operation is complete, the US is trying to distance itself from the assault, according to CBS.
“The situation is dire and we don’t know how it will end,” Khadija, a teacher in Hodeidah, told Reuters.