UN agency urges open access for aid to Yemen

Leroy Wright
November 4, 2018

The only response at all from their camp was from Yemeni officials backed by the Saudis, who embraced the idea of peace talks, but similarly showed no signs of stopping fighting in the meantime.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has stressed that it was "very important" for Houthi militias in Yemen to halt missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, as Western diplomats told Asharq Al-Awsat that the UK is planning to present a draft Security Council resolution on the crisis in Yemen. The war has also left around two-thirds of Yemen's population of 27 million relying on aid, and more than 8 million at risk of starvation.

The coalition claimed that it targeted the launch sites of ballistic missiles and drones, noting that overall more than 12 raids were carried out across Yemen in the early hours on Friday.

The coalition has been working in Yemen since 2015 under Saudi command to reestablish in Sanaa the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, a refugee in Riyadh.

Yemen has been wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

Since the start of the Saudi-led intervention, almost 10,000 civilians have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.

Dozens of Yemeni rebels have been killed in battles and air strikes in Hodeida, medics said Sunday, as pro-government forces advanced in the insurgent-held Red Sea port city.

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The Saudi-led military campaign has drawn criticism from the United Nations over widespread civilian casualties, and helped push Yemen to the brink of starvation.

Hodeidah is the only port held by the Houthis and serves as the entry point for the bulk of Yemen's commercial imports and aid supplies.

Following the collapse of the talks, which would have been the first of their kind in almost two years, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Houthi-held Hodeidah, a strategically important Red Sea port city.

Saudi Arabia claims that the Houthis are using the port city for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the fighters. Around 90% of Yemen's needs are imported from overseas.

The coalition carries out its airstrikes on Yemeni targets in support of the country's government, which has been involved in a violent conflict with the Houthis for years.

Possible violations included deadly air raids, rampant sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers, it said.

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