16:51 GMT +318 August 2019
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    This Saturday, June 16, 2018 file still image taken from video provided by Arab 24 shows Saudi-led forces gathering to retake the international airport of Yemen's rebel-held port city of Hodeida from the Shiite Houthi rebels.

    Houthis Deny Reports About Pause in Arab Coalition's Offensive on Hodeida

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Reports claiming that the Saudi-led Arab coalition's military operation in the Yemeni port of Hodeida has been suspended are not true, Daifullah Shami, the Houthi information minister, told Sputnik on Friday.

    Earlier in the day, media reported that a major offensive by pro-government Yemeni troops, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, on Hodeida had been paused to evacuate civilians and aid workers.

    "It is not true that any kind of aggression has stopped. The situation in Al Hudaydah as a whole has escalated even stronger than before," the minister said.

    According to Shami, the desire to mislead public opinion worldwide by calling for a truce and announcing the suspension of the Hodeida military operation represents an attempt to reduce political and humanitarian pressure on the coalition.

    READ MORE: Saudi-Led Coalition Announces Large-Scale Offensive on Hodeidah Port in Yemen

    The minister went on saying that Washington's calls for an end to the war in Yemen were merely media statements since neither the mercenaries nor the coalition reacted to them.

    "At the moment, there are no negotiations to find any just and full-fledged peaceful solution," Shami said, asked whether the Houthis had received an invitation to participate in peace negotiations in Sweden.

    According to the minister, no vision or agenda for the talks have been proposed yet, and the invitations received are only invitations to the media.

    "We are always for peace, and we call for peace, and we welcome any invitation to peace from the United Nations and others, but only if there is a clear vision and a certain agenda," he stressed.

    The conflict in Yemen escalated this year in the region of Hodeida, Yemen’s largest Red Sea port, disrupting humanitarian aid deliveries to the country and putting half of its population at risk of starvation. As World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underlined earlier, the port was the essential lifeline for the country, through which up to 70 per cent of food and basic medicines pass.

    READ MORE: WHO Urges Yemeni Conflict Parties to Ensure Operation of Hodeidah Port

    Saudi-led coalition, military operation, Houthis, Yemen, Hodeida
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