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Houthis accuse the Saudi-led coalition of “serious escalation” in Hodeidah

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Yemen’s Houthi movement on Friday accused the Saudi-led coalition of “seriously escalating” the situation in Hodeida after coalition forces attacked targets north of the port city.

“Intense raids on Hodeidah are in a dangerous escalation that would torpedo the Sweden agreement,” Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam said on Twitter, referring to a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement in the Red Sea city.

The Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation north of Hodeida on Friday, targeting what it called “legitimate military targets”.

A coalition spokesman said the attacks destroyed four sites used to “assemble and trap remote-controlled boats and sea mines”. The destruction of “hostile” sites contributed to the freedom of maritime navigation.

“Let the coalition bear the consequences of this escalation, and the UN’s position in this regard is at stake,” a Houthi spokesman said on Twitter.

A ceasefire in Hodeidah and a redeployment of troops were reached during peace talks in Sweden last year in a confidence-building measure paving the way for talks to end the war, but the process stalled for months before the Houthis withdrew from three Red Sea ports.

The Western-backed coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Iranian-allied Houthi group overthrew the internationally recognized government in Sanaa in late 2014.

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