SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni officials say the United Nations has pulled its international staff out of Hodeida on the Red Sea amid a widely expected assault by government forces to seize the strategic port city.
The officials said Tuesday the U.N.’s operations center there is still being manned by local staff. They spoke on condition in anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters.
Backed by a Saudi-led coalition, government forces have been trying to seize rebel-held Hodeida, a vital lifeline from which most of Yemen’s population gets food and medicine. The U.N. has warned that a military attack or siege on Hodeida will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
Yemen’s war has raged since March 2015 between Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels and government forces.