Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemen's Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

A scene at the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

A scene at the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

On Friday, the coalition said it had attacked ballistic missile and drone sites at the worldwide airport of the Yemeni capital.

Col. Al-Malki concluded his statement by reaffirming that Sanaa International Airport is still open to United Nations and relief air traffic, and that all preventative measures were taken in the targeting operation.

Calling the attacked structures "legitimate military targets", Malki said he will provide "evidence" of violations by the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels later Friday.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi say wresting control of Hodeidah would deliver a blow to the Houthis, who still control the most populated areas of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, by cutting their main supply line and force them to the negotiating table.

Yemeni government officials said on Tuesday that the coalition had sent more than 10,000 new troops towards the battleground city.

The offer followed a surprise call by the United States for an end to the Yemen war, including air strikes by the coalition.

Al-Malki said Saudi air defense forces on Friday shot down a missile launched by Yemeni rebels at the southern Saudi border city of Najran.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition appeared to have launched a fresh offensive against the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida, according to Yemeni government sources and local media.

Fierce fighting also erupted in Bayda and Saada provinces.

Residents said that the Houthis have been burning tires in attempt to disrupt visibility for the aircraft and have blocked roads in the north of the city with large containers.

Following the collapse of the talks, which would have been the first of their kind in almost two years, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Houthi-held Hodeidah, a strategically important Red Sea port city.

The sources in Hodeidah said fighting was heard in areas near the airport and the university, and Apache helicopters were spotted in the sky.

The appeal came as fighting intensified in the key rebel-held Red Sea port city of Hodeida, despite growing worldwide pressure to end a conflict that has left the country on the brink of starvation.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

According to the United Nations, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict.

Trump slams Donnelly over ads for Libertarian candidate
Princes William and Harry recall royal tour - litter-picking in Norfolk