Saudi Warplanes Destroy Main North Yemen Aid Port in Hodeida

Saudis Insist Port Was a 'Naval Base'

Adding to the humanitarian calamity across Yemen, but felt most strongly in the north of the country, Saudi warplanes today attacked and destroyed much of the primary humanitarian aid port in Hodeida, the key Red Sea port through which aid to the north arrives.

Yemen has been under naval blockade since March, and traditionally imports 90% of its food by sea. The blockade has limited this to a handful of Saudi-approved aid ships, mostly run by the UN. Even this is going to be impossible in Hodeida now, with the destruction of cranes and warehouses at the port.

Hodeida was the primary port for aid to the capital city of Sanaa, and had become materially the only route for aid into that area after the Saudis destroyed the Sanaa airport to prevent aid flights. With pro-Saudi forces controlling the southern coast, this attack may effectively be part of an effort to “starve out” the rest of the country.

Saudis are denying that a port was hit at all, insisting Hodeida was a “naval base” with anti-ship weapons. Human rights groups, however, confirmed that the port was a main route for shipments into the north, and condemned the Saudi attack as the “last straw” in a series of Saudi actions against aid shipments.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.