05:35 GMT12 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Arab Emirates asked the United States and France this week to provide the Saudi-led offensive on a Houthi-held Yemeni port with military assistance, media reported.

    The United States rejected the UAE request for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support as well as minesweepers, which will be provided by France, a senior UAE official told CNN.

    The news network said minesweeper ships were needed to clear Houthi-planted mines from al Hodeidah, a lifeline port that has been used to bring in vital supplies to the starving population of partially blockaded Yemen.

    The offensive by the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Gulf Arab states was announced on Wednesday. Its stated goal is to end a stalemate in the four-year conflict, while the United Nations has warned a disruption will acerbate human suffering.

    Related:

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    Yemeni Houthis Claim Attack on Saudi-Led Coalition Ship Near Al Hodeidah Port
    Saudi-Led Coalition-Backed Troops Launch Operation on Yemen's Hodeidah - Reports
    Tags:
    Houthi militants, Hodeidah, UAE
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