The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for an emergency session following the launch of an assault on the Yemeni port city of Hudaida by forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The closed meeting, requested by the United Kingdom, will take place on Thursday afternoon. It will be the second time the Council convenes this week over the situation in Yemen, which aid groups warn stares at an imminent humanitarian crisis.
On Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition launched an air and ground offensive on Hudaida, Yemen’s third largest city, in the biggest battle in the three-year war between the coalition and Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, launch attack on Yemen’s port city of Hudaida
The air strikes targeting Houthi positions have been supported by ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops south of the Red Sea port.
Fighting raged near Hudaida airport and al-Durayhmi, a rural area 10km south of the city, UAE’s WAM news agency said.
It also said that UAE forces and local allies had penetrated the Houthis’ front line on the airport perimetre.
Coalition spokespeople said 18 air strikes were fired on the outskirts of Hudaida on Wednesday.
The Houthis deployed military vehicles and troops in the city centre and near the port, as warplanes struck the coast to the south, residents told Al Jazeera.
Fear of ‘full-fledged war’
The rebel fighters have be