Saudi-led coalition seizes Yemen's Hodeidah airport -spokesman

Losing Hudaida would seriously weaken the Houthis by severing supply lines from the Red Sea to their stronghold in the capital Sanaa

Losing Hudaida would seriously weaken the Houthis by severing supply lines from the Red Sea to their stronghold in the capital Sanaa

"Some areas even prior to the war were not even connected to the main water supply", said Saleem Al Shamiri, livelihood coordinator at the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The weapons, shown to reporters during a government-sponsored tour in the United Arab Emirates' capital of Abu Dhabi and at an Emirati military base, included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and a "drone boat", which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Witnesses said coalition warships and warplanes have been hitting the airport and the eastern side of Hodeida around the clock since late Monday, aiming to cut off the main road that links Hodeida and the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. "The second one is not targeting civilians in this operation, avoiding civilian casualties". Tehran has denied the allegation.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told Reuters: "We are waiting for them (Houthis) to realise the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them some time to come and decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out".

"The choice in Yemen is between the state and militia, between order and violence, between peace and war", he wrote on Twitter, referring to Huthi militiamen.

It lies eight kilometres (five miles) from the city's port, through which three-quarters of Yemen's imports pass, providing a lifeline for some 22 million people dependent on aid.

Hodeidah port's cranes are pictured from a nearby shantytown in Hodeidah, Yemen June 16, 2018.

Government forces broke through the airport perimeter fence on Tuesday sparking heavy fighting in which at least 33 rebels and 19 soldiers were killed.

Some 5,200 families fled their homes as pro-government forces advanced up the Red Sea coast, according to the UN.

Rebel-held Hodeida is the latest battlefront in a three-year war that has seen Yemen, long the most impoverished Arab country, pushed to the brink of starvation.

The rebels have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition that has fought the Houthis since 2015.

"It is going to cause immediate death for the rebels if the Al Amalikah forces succeed in cutting it, because it is a central route linking Hodeidah with Sanaa and Saada provinces in northern Yemen and with Aden, Taez and the other provinces in south Yemen", Mr Al Mashra'ee told The National.

Speaking through video conference from Sanaa, Griffiths told the Security Council that he would launch a first round of peace talks next month, according to a press conference held at the United Nations headquarters in NY following the closed session.

The Yemeni government and its allies have insisted that the Huthis must fully withdraw from Hodeida and turn over the port to United Nations supervision.