Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Saudis Will Open Aid Deliveries to Some 'Loyal' Yemen Ports

Saudis Will Open Aid Deliveries to Some 'Loyal' Yemen Ports

The agencies said in a statement: "Together, we issue another urgent appeal for the coalition to permit entry of lifesaving supplies to Yemen in response to what is now the worst humanitarian crisis in the world".

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

But Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels known as Houthis, said the airport's runway and a ground navigation tower were damaged.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable", he said.

The U.S. -backed coalition has been at war with the Houthis, since March 2015.

The alliance stopped all air, land, and sea access to Yemen more than a week ago after a rebel missile attack near the Saudi capital Riyadh.

On Monday, Saudi diplomats announced that the restrictions would be lifted partially, with air and sea ports in areas under government control reopening.

Pressing the Government in the House of Lords, Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon said: "Even allowing for the fact of jihadist terrorism, is not the greatest threat to peace coming from the Middle East now the imminent danger of a conflict between the Sunnis and the Shias, led by Saudi Arabia and Tehran, in which the West is backing one side and Russian Federation the other?"

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The British Government is foolish to back Saudi Arabia, including with arms sales, while it is carrying out "clearly illegal acts" in Yemen, Liberal Democrat former leader Paddy Ashdown has said.

Dujarric says the United Nations urges the coalition to resume U.N. humanitarian flights to Aden and the capital, Sanaa, and to reopen the ports of Hodeida and Salif for food and medical deliveries.

He said United Nations humanitarian officials are warning that "seven million people are already on the brink of starvation, and the blockade will only bring them closer to it".

The government-controlled port of Aden has re-opened and Sanaa airport is operating for commercial flights, however this is inadequate as "needs are so huge", he said.

The agency reported that the closure of Yemen's border has halted the delivery of emergency assistance for almost 280,000 internally displaced people, and stranded some of its staff outside the country while others lack fuel for transport, he said.

Aden's security chief told AFP: "Eight members of the security forces and two civilians were killed in a auto bombing in the central district of Abdul Aziz".

The IS-claimed attack took place at a building in the Sheikh Othman district in the central part of the city. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.

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