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Saudi-led Coalition Says It’s Begun New Anti-Houthi Offensive in Yemen
A health worker administers an oral anti-cholera vaccine on September 19 in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, to curb an epidemic blamed largely on a shortage of food and medicine caused by the country’s five-year civil war. (Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

Saudi-led Coalition Says It’s Begun New Anti-Houthi Offensive in Yemen

A Sunni coalition fighting Shi’ite rebels in Yemen has embarked on a new offensive north of the country’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah. Col. Turki al-Malkihe, the spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry, said in a statement on Friday that the coalition had already destroyed sites “used to carry out attacks and terrorist operations that threaten shipping lines and international trade in the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the southern Red Sea.” The Houthis, who claimed responsibility for a devastating aerial attack last Saturday against Saudi oil installations – although both Riyadh and Washington have placed direct blame on Iran – insist the new offensive violates a cease-fire in Hodeidah that was brokered last December by Sweden. The port city handles most of Yemen’s imports, and fighting there hampered the arrival of much-needed food and medicine, leading Yemen, long in a civil war, to what the United Nations called the brink of a human catastrophe. According to Malkihe, the Houthis have used Hodeidah to “launch ballistic missiles, drones, booby-trapped and remote-controlled boats, as well as for [the] indiscriminate deployment of sea mines.”

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