Yemeni military officials and witnesses on both sides of the Hodeida front line say the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition has pounded Houthi rebel positions with airstrikes and a ground assault and now controls a major road leading into the key port city.
They say an Emirati-trained force known as the Giants, backed by Apache attack helicopters, secured Wednesday an urban area along 50th Street, which leads to the city's key port facilities some 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals or lack of authorisation to brief journalists, they say the Iran-backed Shiite rebels had been firing mainly from elevated and rooftop sniper positions, and have now resorted to burning tires to obscure the gunships' view.
Most civilians have fled the area, they added.
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