Arab coalition declares Yemen's Hodeidah a military zone

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 13, 2017 1:40 AM

DOHA (Reuters) - A Saudi-led coalition has declared Yemen’s Hodeidah city a military zone, urging civilians in the Houthi-held Red Sea port to stay in their homes, days after the United Nations warned that air strikes could trap civilians and hamper aid efforts.

The military coalition of mainly Gulf Arab states said in a statement late on Sunday civilians in Hodeidah should "remain in their homes and avoid clashes" and that the city would be declared a military zone from 10 a.m. on Monday until further notice.

Earlier this week, Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops recaptured the Red Sea city of al-Mokha in a push that paved the way for an advance on Hodeidah, Yemen's main port city.

The United Nations said on Friday the Saudi-led coalition had intensified air strikes on Hodeidah, possibly trapping civilians and hampering a humanitarian operation to deliver vital food and fuel supplies.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by Paul Tait)