Three Jazan civilians killed after Houthi missile targets border city

Leroy Wright
June 12, 2018

Malki, quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency, did not identify the type of "projectile" but said it was "launched deliberately to target civilians" and warned of retaliation.

In a letter circulating in the House of Representatives and obtained by Al-Monitor, members of Congress "deeply alarmed" by the military action are asking US Defense Secretary Jim Mattisto dissuade Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from attacking.

The council met behind closed doors to hear United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths report on his diplomatic efforts to keep the rebel-held port of Hodeida open to shipments of aid and commercial goods.

UAE forces are poised to attack the port of Hodeidah as early as Tuesday as part of their campaign with Saudi Arabia to defeat the Houthi rebels who have seized much of north Yemen.

The United Nations pulled all of its worldwide staff out of Al Hodeidah early on Monday morning.

For the past two weeks, Yemen government troops backed by the coalition have been closing in on Hodeida, which they claim is being used by Huthi rebels to smuggle weapons.

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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. "We left it in his hands for the time being", Nebenzia told reporters. The fighting has escalated as government forces close in on the Red Sea port of Hodeida, a vital lifeline through which most of Yemen's food and medicine enters.

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the US "is closely following developments" and has "spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".

By late today, key lawmakers had begun losing faith in USA efforts to convince Saudi and UAE military officials to stop the assault, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the UN's shuttle diplomacy failed to move UAE officials and that the Donald Trump administration had given the operation "a blinking yellow light".

The U.N. considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance. Aid agencies have warned that an attack would have catastrophic consequences. This incident took place on Friday. "We remind you that three years into the conflict, active U.S. participation in Saudi-led hostilities against Yemen's Houthis has never been authorized by Congress, in violation of the Constitution".

Previous U.N. efforts have failed to end the more than three-year-old conflict which pits the Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, against other Yemeni forces backed by a coalition loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and led by USA allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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