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Arab coalition claims it has seized Hodeidah airport

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Arab coalition claims it has seized Hodeidah airport

Arab coalition claims it has seized Hodeidah airport
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The Saudi led Arab coalition says it has taken control of Hodeidah airport as its offensive on rebel held positions in Yemen intensifies.

Coalition fighters could be seen celebrating their success near the airport - the battle for Hodeidah is of immense strategic importance in the three year old civil war.

The Saudis say the port is being used by the Houthi rebels to import missiles from Iran, a claim both Teheran and the rebels deny.

But for aid agencies, the priority is keep vital supply lines open.

"Operations are underway," Abeer Etefa, Senior Spokesperson for the World Food Programme on Yemen said. "We are hoping that the port will continue to operate. It's a lifeline, not just for the people of Hodeida, but for a lot of the people in Yemen. 70 percent of humanitarian and aid supplies come from this port which is a lifeline."

Around two-thirds of the country's 27 million population relies on aid. More than 5000 families have fled the latest fighting.