ADEN, Yemen- Saudi-led air strikes, on Friday, killed at least 17 Houthi militants, in the rebel-held port city of Hodeidah, a military official said. The air strikes, targeting a gathering of Houthi rebels, near a hotel, also killed three other non-Houthi militants, causing panic among citizens in the Red Sea coastal city, the military official said, on condition of anonymity.

The Saudi-led bombing came, as Houthi fighters were gathering and preparing to launch a wide-scale attack, against pro-government forces, in the Kilo7 area in Hodeidah, the source noted.

Meanwhile, the Houthi-affiliated television network, Masirah, reported that, a local mosque was targeted by the Saudi-led coalition in Hodeidah, but mentioned no details about casualties.

Residents in Hodeidah confirmed that they witnessed a hovering of Saudi-led war planes accompanied by heavy artillery shelling by government forces.

The Yemeni government is seeking to expel the Houthi rebels out of the strategic port city of Hodeidah in recent days, despite warnings by international humanitarian agencies.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war, since the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with seven million Yemenis on the brink of famine and cholera, causing more than 2,000 deaths.


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