Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Urges U.N. cooperation as fighting flares in Yemen

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia Civilians Killed in Houthi Shelling of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan – Reports
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 10:38

He is due to brief the U.N. Security Council later this month. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah".

Mr Hadi is visiting the UAE on the advice of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Yemen's state-run news agency, Saba, reported.

Though there has been some suggestion that the Houthis could give the port city to the United Nations to administer, avoiding it either being attacked or the port closed to humanitarian aid.

Wam quoted the governor of Al Hodeidah, Al Hassan Ali Taher, as saying: "Intensified preparations are under way, including [the movement] of heavy artillery and troops to push Houthis out of the city".

Griffiths previously said an attack on Hodeidah would "take peace off the table in a single stroke".

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war pitting the coalition against the Iran-backed Houthis since March 2015. As the last port controlled by the northern rebels, it is the lone source of humanitarian aid for millions across northern Yemen.

More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since the war began, tens of thousands have been wounded, and another two million people have been displaced.

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Previous U.N. efforts have failed to end the country's conflict, which has triggered the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab state, the United Nations has said.

He accused the Houthis of seeking to destabilize Saudi Arabia and threaten regional and global security, stating that firing ballistic missiles at residential areas was a violation of worldwide Humanitarian Law.

Following the closed-door council meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who is council president this month, called for de-escalation and said the top United Nations body would be "closely" following developments.

"The important thing is that (Hodeidah) is kept open and it is kept functioning because it is the major route in for these commercial supplies".

Yemen relies on imports for 90 percent of its food, and 70 percent of the imports transit through Hodeida, Lowcock told reporters after briefing the council. Officials issued a statement Monday that Yemen analyst Adam Baron described as a "yellow light" for the Yemen offensive.

The U.S., he said, is closely following developments in Hodeidah and urged Emirati leaders to preserve "the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".

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