The Houthis have carried out a series of counter-attacks against the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies advancing along the Red Sea coast in the direction of the port city of al-Hudaydah. Yemeni forces have cut off their enemies’ supply line at the Taef-al-Jah-Husseiniya crossroad and forced Saudi-led forces to withdraw from the vicinity of the al-Hudaydah airport.
Pro-Houthi sources already described this as a major success of the Houthis adding that Saudi-led forces had lost about a dozen of vehicles and a high number of fighters in the area. However, in reality, the situation on the ground remains very tense.
Since mid April, Saudi-led forces have advanced along the Red Sea coast and set a foothold for an operation to capture al-Hudaydah. Warplanes of the coalition have been delivering multiple airstrikes on manpower and positions of the Houthis in western Yemen. On July 3, airstrikes hit a meeting of senior military commanders of the Houthis in the coastal city al-Hudaydah. Yemeni sources claimed that Abdul-Khalik al-Houthi, the brother of Houthis leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, was killed in this attack.
The further scenario of the battle for the Red Sea coast will depend on the Houthis’ capabilities of encircling and eliminating a group of the Saudi-led forces deployed north of al-Hudaydah. If this is done, the Saudi-led coalition will suffer a notable defeat. However, if the Yemeni group is not able to do so, the threat to al-Hudaydah will remain and the Houthis’ leadesrhip will find itself in a complicated situation.
The port city of al-Hudaydah is a key logistical hub in western Yemen. It allows the Houthis to receive humanitarian aid for the population in the part of the country controlled by them. Considering a poor humanitarian situation in Yemen, this is a key factor.
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