SANAA, Yemen  | Yemeni forces say they seized Hodeida airport runway

SANAA, Yemen  — Yemeni government forces backed by the United Arab Emirates say they have seized the southern runway of the international airport near the Yemeni city of Hodeida.

The military released a statement as fighting rages around Hodeida between pro-government fighters backed by a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE and Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

The Amaleqa brigades said in a statement they have been advancing toward an area near Kilo 16 road, aiming to cut off the link between Hodeida and the capital Sanaa.

Meanwhile, Yemeni officials say fierce battles are raging in the ad-Durayhimi district outside Hodeida, about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) south of the airport.

The coalition began its assault last week. Hodeida is the main entry point for food and aid to Yemen.

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By Associated Press

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