A Saudi-led alliance of Arab States launched the largest assault of Yemen’s war with an attack on the country’s main port city Hodeidah.

Coalition warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation “golden victory”.

The assault marks the first time the Arab States have tried to capture such a heavily-defended major city since they joined the war three years ago against the Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the populated areas.

The United Nations fears the assault could drastically worsen already desperate conditions in the region’s poorest country.