SANAA, Yemen - The Chief of Yemen's Houthi rebels, said Wednesday, he proposed to UN special envoy, Martin Griffiths, to place Hodeidah under UN supervision.
"We welcomed a supervisory, technical and logistical role of the UN, on the port of Hodeidah, but they are liars, they just made baseless justifications," Abdulmalik al-Houthi was quoted as saying, in a speech commenting on the Saudi-led coalition forces' control of the Hodeidah airport, a day earlier.
Griffiths left the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Tuesday, after a three-day visit, to seek resumption of the peace talks in the war-torn country. On the same day, the pro-government Yemeni forces, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, seized control of the city's airport in a major battle that killed dozens from both rival forces.
Griffiths, on Monday, briefed the UN Security Council, via a video conference from Sanaa, saying, he would launch a first round of the Yemeni peace talks next month.
In his speech, al-Houthi vowed to resist the coalition forces, calling on his followers for a mass mobilisation, to recapture the city. "All advances made by the coalition forces on the ground will be confronted, and our strong will would not be broken," al-Houthi said.
Coalition spokesperson, Colonel Turki al-Malki, told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV that, the coalition forces are keeping advancing in the city and attacking rebel hideouts nearby, a day after capturing the airport. Al-Malki said, the coalition has a plan to completely liberate the city, adding that, the port has been operating normally, since the coalition's launch of a major offensive days ago.
Residents were forced to stay in their homes, due to fears about the coalition air strikes.
"Streets are empty, shops and restaurants are closed, no water and electricity...the situation and sounds of air bombardment are extremely terrifying," said Adel Bishr, a member of a local humanitarian team in Hodeidah.
International humanitarian agencies have warned that, an assault on Hodeidah would be a major disaster to the densely populated port city and would block aid supplies to the residents there. Hodeidah is the lifeline route for importing and transporting humanitarian aid to northern Yemen.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK