In setting Hudaida as a target, the UAE has no choice but to project a united front among a disparate collective of forces. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
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Hudaida port, Yemen's largest entry point for aid, is now in the crosshairs of the Arab-led coalition that is intent on cutting off the Houthi rebels from alleged Iranian arms shipments. The Red Sea port has been a point of contention in Yemen's war since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened on behalf of the government in 2015 .About 180 kilometers south of Hudaida, the Red Sea port of Mokha was seized by Yemeni government forces in February.The offensive is now just 70 kilometers outside Hudaida in some areas, military sources told AFP.Last week, 64 rebels and 19 loyalist troops were killed in the span of 24 hours, according to medical sources, while 26 Houthi fighters and nine soldiers died in clashes Tuesday.The "Giant Brigades" – a former elite force of the Yemeni army, rebuilt by the UAE – has been at the vanguard of the offensive, reinforced by thousands of fighters from southern Yemen.
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