Hudaydah(ANN)-A senior Houthi official has said Yemen will turn into a “graveyard” for aggressors as Saudi-backed militants and mercenaries continued with a fresh push to occupy the port city of Hudaydah.

“Our people, with their full-scale defense of Hudaydah, once again have proved that Yemen will be a graveyard for the aggressors,” Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a tweet late Friday..

Saudi-backed militants announced on Friday that they had begun a military operation to take over Hudaydah, claiming that they had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city.

Abdulsalam dismissed the claims, saying the aggressors had already failed to achieve any of their objectives due to the “exemplary steadfastness” of the Yemeni people.

“The American-British-Israeli coalition, along with domestic and foreign mercenaries and terrorists groups, including Daesh and al-Qaeda … have failed to achieve any of their objectives after four years of aggression, due to the exemplary steadfastness of the nation,” he tweeted.

A statement by militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi claimed that they were progressing from all fronts. On Saturday, they said they had taken the main hospital in Hudaydah.

Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s commercial imports and practically all UN-supervised humanitarian aid pass through Hudaydah’s port.

Yemeni officials say the extent of Saudi-led military aggression has intensified ever since US President Donald Trump’s administration demanded a ceasefire.

Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said in an opinion article in The Washington Post on Saturday that the US call for ceasefire was hollow.

“The continued escalation of attacks against the port city of Hudaydah in Yemen by the US-Saudi-Emirati coalition confirms that the American calls for a ceasefire are nothing but empty talk,” he said.

“The recent statements are trying to mislead the world. Saudi leaders are reckless and have no interest in diplomacy. The United States has the clout to bring an end to the conflict but it has decided to protect a corrupt ally,” he said.

Al-Houthi said, “Trump and his administration clearly prefer to continue this devastating war because of the economic returns it produces — they drool over those arms sales profits.”

 A Yemeni man goes through the wreckage of a building that was destroyed in a Saudi airstrike in the capital Sana’a on September 5, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Last month, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis called for a ceasefire in Yemen and for all parties to come to the negotiating table within the next 30 days.

Al-Houthi said the Saudi-led blockade of Hudaydah is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees.

“The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.”

He further emphasized that Ansarullah was ready to stop the retaliatory missile attacks if Saudi Arabia stopped its airstrikes against the impoverished nation.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned on Friday that many people were trapped in Hudaydah. Other UN bodies have said an all-out attack on Hudaydah could trigger famine in Yemen.

In an interview with Press TV, political columnist David William Pear described the Saudi blockade of Yemen as a “war crime.”

“No one is really stepping in to help the Yemenis. The people are starving. This is a war crime and a clear war crime. This has been the intended purpose of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Colin Cavell, a university lecturer, said Saudi Arabia “is doing a massive humanitarian catastrophe on the people of Yemen and the world needs to take notice of this massive humanitarian catastrophe.”

He also accused the UK and the United States of complicity in war crimes being committed in Yemen.