11 Troops Killed in Houthi Offensive Against North Yemen Port

Saudi Airstrikes Reported as Houthis Aim to Reclaim Northernmost Port

by Jason Ditz, September 04, 2016

Houthi forces in Yemen’s northern Hajjah Province have attacked territory along the Red Sea coast which is currently held by pro-Saudi forces, killing at least 11 soldiers and wounding another 28, according to a statement from pro-Saudi forces.

The offensive was centered around the port of Midi, the northernmost port in Yemen. With materially the whole southern coast held by the pro-Saudi forces, the limited ports of the Red Sea are seen as vital for the Houthis as routes for humanitarian aid, particularly food.

Midi was not captured in the offensive, at least not so far. Saudi warplanes launched at least 15 airstrikes against the advancing Houthi forces, slowing their progress, though the intention of taking the port appears unchanged, with an eye toward claiming the coast.

Yemen is a country with very limited food production, which before the war had to import the overwhelming majority of its food. The Houthis’ primary port of at Hodeidah, just south of Midi, and has been limited in its access to food aid, with a Saudi-led naval blockade severely limiting ships docking there.

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