Coalition spokesman: Houthis trying to cover losses through false propaganda

Members of Yemen's Tihama Resistance force under Houthi fire in the Haiys district of Hodeidah province

Saudi-backed Yemeni forces take back airport from rebels

Saudi-led coalition forces and Houthi militias battled for control of the airport in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on June 17.

Speaking at a press conference in Dubai on Monday, Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister for foreign affairs, said he hoped its operation would pressure the Houthis to leave the city. He declined to reveal the size of coalition forces but said they had "numerical superiority".

The Saudi and Emirati aggression on Yemeni port of Hodeidah is resulting only in failure, with Yemeni Army and Popular Committees retaking initiative in the biggest battle since the war on Yemen started in March 2015.

The Houthis' al-Masira television reported six coalition air strikes on the Duraihmi district in the vicinity of the port. The fight for the port city has sparked fears of a fresh humanitarian crisis in Yemen where more than 22 million people are in need of aid. But it has never before tried to capture such a heavily defended city, and there are fears the battle could drag on.

Control of the airport is now split between the coalition forces and the Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran.

"We have planned diligently around the humanitarian challenge", he said.

Yehia Tanani said he and his family left Manzar three days ago and walked for 3 km (1.86 miles), hiding behind walls and under trees to avoid air strikes before finding shelter at a fish farm.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is spending his second day in Sanaa, the rebel-held capital.

The offensive, Gargash said, will "continue unless rebels withdraw unconditionally". "If we can't provide what they need, they're going to be in bad trouble", Grande told NPR's David Greene.

Griffiths returned to Sanaa on Saturday for talks. "We were scared not knowing if we'd be shot or not", he said.

Huthi representative Sharaf, however, accused the Saudi-backed government of "obstructing negotiations", saying the Hodeida offensive had foiled any potential peace talks in a statement carried by the rebels' Saba news agency.

"The crisis in Yemen should be resolved through political channels.A military approach will fail.Yemen's stability and security is important for the Middle East", Rouhani told Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in a phone call.

Al-Malki also spoke about the progress of the political process in Yemen, the most recent of which was the visit of the new United Nations envoy Martin Griffith to Yemen in early June, during which he met with the Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and some representatives of the countries in the region, before moving to Sanaa.

Gargash estimated the number of Houthi fighters in Hodeidah at between 2,000 to 3,000.

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