Saudi-Backed Forces Withdraw From Areas Around Yemen’s Hodeidah Port

The coalition said the forces are being moved to fight the Houthis elsewhere

Yemeni forces fighting under the US-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Friday that they have withdrawn from areas around the port city of Hodeidah to fight the Houthis in other parts of the country.

Reuters reported that UAE-backed militias, including the Giants Brigade, issued a joint statement that said there was no reason for them to stay around Hodeideh due to the 2018 UN-brokered ceasefire for the Houthi-controlled port city.

“The joint forces recognized the mistake of remaining in defensive barricades, unable to fight under an international pact, while various front lines require support,” the statement said. Using the 2018 ceasefire as a reason to withdraw seems like an excuse since the truce has been frequently violated.

It’s more likely that the forces are being relocated due to the Houthis’ success on the battlefield around the city of Maarib and in the Shabwa province. Sources told Reuters that the UAE-backed fighters also withdrew from al-Durayhimi and al-Tahita, located to the south of Hodeidah, and the Houthis have moved in.

The move comes after reports said the Saudis withdrew from a major base in Aden. Saudi Arabia dismissed the reports as “baseless” and said the movement of troops was a “redeployment” rather than a withdrawal.

The US is still backing the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen despite President Biden’s February vow to end support for Riyadh’s “offensive” operations in the country. The Pentagon is still servicing Saudi warplanes that are bombing Yemen, and the Biden administration recently approved a $500 million deal to maintain Saudi attack helicopters and a $650 arms sale that gives Riyadh’s air force air-to-air missiles.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.