DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Gunfire has erupted near Yemen's port city of Hodeida as a Saudi-led coalition's deadline expired for Shiite rebels there to withdraw.
Social media users shared video of what appeared to be a convoy of vehicles approaching the crucial port city early Wednesday morning. The sound of heavy, sustained gunfire clearly could be heard.
Forces loyal to Yemen's exiled government and irregular fighters led by Emirati troops had neared Hodeida in recent days.
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash earlier told French newspaper Le Figaro the deadline for a withdraw from Hodeida by Shiite rebels known as Houthis expired early Wednesday morning.
The United Nations and other aid groups had pulled their international staff from Hodeida ahead of the rumored assault.