Aden airport receives first commercial flight after Yemen blockade

Cholera, hunger and war are ravaging Yemen. What role does the US play?
UN council fails to push Saudi coalition over Yemen blockade
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17 November, 2017

Despite the Saudi announcement, a top leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels on Monday vowed retaliation against the oil-rich kingdom over its disastrous blockade of his war-torn country.

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi movement said last week it had closed all air, land and sea ports in Yemen to stem what it said was the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran.

The organisation has said a blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels will nearly certainly make things worse.

According to Politico, the resolution "publicly acknowledges the Pentagon has been sharing targeting information and refueling warplanes that Saudi Arabia and other allies are using to attack Houthi rebels".

Even with a partial lifting of the blockade, the WFP estimates, an additional 3.2 million will be pushed into hunger and if left untreated, 150,000 children could die within the coming months.

"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", reads a joint statement Thursday from World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

"The space and access we need to deliver humanitarian assistance is being choked off, threatening the lives of millions of vulnerable children and families".

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The United Nations has warned a total blockade could cause starvation in Yemen, where war has killed at least 10,000 people in the last two and a half years.

After two years of a devastating war, the Houthis still control much of Yemen's north while the south falls under the embattled President of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the global community and who is supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

In this April, 13, 2017 photo, Yemeni children wait to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen.

The House vote came a day before the top United Nations aid official in Yemen called on the Saudi-led coalition to open all Yemen's sea ports urgently, saying it risked undoing the fight against cholera and hunger, with 7 million already in "famine-like conditions".

McGoldrick was speaking to reporters in Geneva by phone from Amman, because he said flights into Sanaa were blocked.

Dujarric said the United Nations refugee agency expressed alarm at the worsening humanitarian situation, noting that at a center for displaced Yemenis in Sanaa "hundreds more people are approaching the facility daily, saying they are no longer able to meet basic needs or afford medical care".

The fiery comments by Saleh al-Sammad, the head of the Presidency Council of the Houthis, came during a rally of thousands of rebel supporters marching down a main boulevard in the capital, Sanaa.


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