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Saudi-led warplanes wreak havoc on Yemen aid port Hodeida

The latest Saudi raids destroyed Hodeida port's four cranes [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2015

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Saudi-led coalition warplanes hit the Houthi-controlled Red Sea port of Hodeida on Tuesday, destroying cranes and warehouses in the main entry point for aid supplies to Yemen's north.

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition hit the Houthi-controlled Red Sea port of Hodeida on Tuesday, destroying cranes and warehouses in the main entry point for aid supplies to Yemen's north.

Reuters news agency reported that the latest raids destroyed the port's four cranes and also hit warehouses, bringing work to a halt. There was no information on what was in the warehouses.

Hodeida, which lies west of the capital Sanaa, is held by the Houthi rebels and allied army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. It has become a focal point of Yemen's humanitarian crisis, which the International Committee of the Red Cross said last week was critical.

Aid groups have previously complained that a coalition naval blockade has stopped relief supplies entering Yemen.

The coalition, in which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also plays a big military role, has accused the Houthis of commandeering aid shipments for war use.

Meanwhile, the UAE has condemned the "occupation" of its embassy in Sanaa, the foreign ministry said in a statement demanding their immediate exit from the compound.

"This act is further evidence that the group that committed this attack does not show any regard or respect for international conventions and diplomatic norms, as it practices the law of the jungle," said a statement published late Monday by the official WAM news agency.

It "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the rebel storming of the embassy, which it said took place on Sunday.

The foreign ministry "stressed that the occupation of the embassy and the eviction of its staff will not deter the UAE's support for the restoration of stability to sisterly Yemen."

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is a member, also released a statement condemning the "cowardly act."

The UAE shut its embassy in Sanaa and announced it would open another in southern city Aden, which was later the scene of intense fighting between local government supporters and the rebels before loyalists retook the city in mid-July.

It is unclear how many employees were at the Sanaa embassy and if it had been operational when it was stormed.

Saudi-owned newspaper al-Hayat has reported that 1,500 troops, most of them from the UAE, had entered Aden in support of loyalists.

Official Emirati media says that six UAE soldiers have so far been killed in incidents linked to the Yemen fighting.

The UAE is also part of a Saudi-led coalition that launched an air war against the rebels on March 26.

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