The biggest battle of the three-year Yemen war raises fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.
As pro-government troops close in on the city, Iran-backed Houthi rebels remain defiant.
The United Nations is urging restraint, fearing if the port is closed it puts eight million Yemenis at risk of starvation.
But is there any hope of a diplomatic solution?
Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam
Lise Grande – the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen
Afrah Nasser – freelance journalist and Yemeni blogger
Hussain al-Bukhaiti – pro-Houthi journalist