Jun 13, 2018 19:02 Asia/Tehran

The Yemeni Houthis have struck a Saudi-US warship near the port of Al Hodeidah in a retaliatory attack.

 The Yemeni Houthis have stated Wednesday that they had struck a Saudi-US warship near the port of Al Hodeidah.

"Our glorious defenders from the naval forces were able to hit a battleship of Saudi-US hostile forces, and made the second one flee the area," the head of the Houthis' Supreme Revolutionary Council Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said on his Twitter.

According to al-Houthi, the first ship sank, while some of its crew were evacuated by helicopters. He did not rule out that there were US military forces on board.

On Wednesday, forced backed by the Saudi launched an offensive against Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hudaydah in defiance of warnings by the UN and international rights groups against the catastrophic repercussions of such a military action.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV network on Wednesday morning announced the beginning of the Hudaydah operation, which the UN has warned could cause up to 250,000 deaths. The Saudi-led military alliance is providing air cover to the operation.

The UN and other aid groups have over the past days withdrawn their staff members from the port city in the wake of UAE threats.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also raised alarm over the impact of the attack on children in Hudaydah and beyond.

“There are 11 million children in need of humanitarian aid in this war-torn country. Choking off this lifeline will have devastating consequences for every one of them,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore stated on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies attacked Yemen in March 2015 to bring back to power the deposed president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Thousands of Yemenis have been killed in the attacks conducted by the Saudi-US coalition and more than 2,000 have died due to a cholera epidemic.