Saudi Arabia says Yemen rebel fire kills 3 in kingdom

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2018

"But if Hodeidah city is attacked it might be hard as we can't risk sending our staff to the frontline".

He said the UN's Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths, was shuttling between the capital of Yemen Sanaa and also the UAE and Saudi Arabia. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah".

The United Nations pulled all of its worldwide staff out of Hodeida early Monday morning.

Al-Maliki said residents have welcomed the advancing government forces through such gestures like removing sectarian graffiti from walls of liberated towns and cities in Saada as well as the port of Hodeidah.

Tensions have risen in recent months between Yemen's internationally recognized government and the United Arab Emirates.

The UN said last week that up to 250,000 people could die if the port is attacked or besieged.

The UN considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Yemen relies on imports for 90 percent of its food and 70% of those transit through Hodeida, Lowcock said.

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After briefing the security council on Monday, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told reporters that "if for any period Hodeidah were not to operate effectively the consequences in humanitarian terms would be catastrophic".

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 U.N. chose to evacuate its staff after member states were told that an attack was imminent, the New York Times reported.

The United States warned Monday that aid must flow through the Yemeni port of Hodeida amid reports that Emirati forces plan to seize it from Huthi rebels.

The UN and aid agencies have pleaded with the Saudi-led force against an attack on Hodeida, warning that it could lead to mass civilian casualties and starvation.

"We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the U.N.", Pompeo said, adding that they should also "support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen".

The conflict in Yemen has left almost 10,000 people dead in what was already the Arab world's poorest country.

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