Human Rights Watch

Fierce fighting intensifies outside Yemen's Hodeida airport

Battlefield commanders say fighting intensified on Friday outside the airport of the vital Yemeni city of Hodeida, pitting thousands of pro-government Yemeni fighters backed by a Saudi-led coalition of mostly Emirati forces and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Ahmed al-Kawkabani, a Yemeni who leads a force known as the Tohama Brigade, told the Associated Press that his forces are currently positioned in Dawar al-Hodeida, Arabic for "Hodeida roundabout." Another Yemeni commander, Abu Zarah al-Mahrami, was quoted by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV network as saying that pro-government forces are "within meters" of the airport.

The assault began Wednesday to seize...