Yemeni children die as warring sides block aid deliveries

04 November, 2018, 20:08 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Saudi-Led Coalition Says It Attacked Airbase, Missile Sites in Sanaa Airport

The regional chief of the United Nations children s agency said Saturday that Yemeni authorities are making it hard to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and warned that impeding relief efforts could plunge the country into starvation.

The United States and Britain have called for an end to the conflict, raising pressure on Saudi Arabia as it faces a global outcry over the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government said on Friday it had attacked an air base in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, while rebels and pro-government forces clashed in the port city of Hodeidah to the west.

The agency warned Thursday that the looming starvation in war-torn Yemen could put 2 million mothers at risk of death.

The Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim nations is also wary of the spreading influence in the region of Iran's Shiite theocracy, widely said to be backing the Houthis.

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According to local residents, non-stop explosions are still rocking the main entrances of Hodeidah amid intensified airstrikes by Saudi-led warplanes against Houthi-controlled sites.

Geert Cappelaere said in an interview that recent United States calls for a cease-fire are imperative to ending the almost four-year war, which pits a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-aligned rebels known as Houthis. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis. "Subsequently, coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in", Pompeo said in a statement.

The coalition sent reinforcements to the west coast on Tuesday for a new assault on Hodeida - a strategic port on the Red Sea - according to Yemeni military officials. The port is a key entry point for food and humanitarian aid, but the coalition says the Houthis also use it to import weapons.

Back in June, coalition forces, backed by armed militia loyal to Hadi, launched a full-scale offensive against the Houthi-held Hudaydah, which is now under a tight siege imposed by the invaders and through whose docks over 70 percent of Yemen's imports used to pass. But the Houthis, who control the capital and much of northern Yemen, have so far showed few signs of weakening in the three-year-long conflict that has become a military stalemate.

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