Yemen’s Iran-aligned Al Houthi militiamen, last week, dispatched massive military reinforcements to Hodeida, months after a UN-brokered peace deal was reached on the western port city, local sources said.
The reinforcements included armoured vehicles and other military hardware, they added, according to the online newspaper Adan Al Ghad.
Hundreds of Al Houthi gunmen meanwhile deployed in the Red Sea city’s streets where they set up checkpoints, they added.
In December, Yemen’s internationally recognised government and Al Houthis signed an agreement on pullout from Hodeida at UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden. The pact was seen then as a breakthrough to end a devastating years-long war in Yemen. However, the deal has since bogged down over Al Houthis’ recalcitrance
Al Houthis had seized Hodeida in late 2014 as part of a coup against the Yemeni government. Hodeida is strategically important because most of imports and humanitarian aid to the impoverished country come through the city’s port.