Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Latest news
Main » United States joins Saudi in accusing Iran over Yemen moves

United States joins Saudi in accusing Iran over Yemen moves

09 November 2017

The Saudi-led blockage of Yemen would cause the "largest starvation the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims", the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said Wednesday.

A local source has told Sputnik that the Saudi-led coalition had removed the blockade of the major Yemeni port of Aden, which will now be able to resume receiving humanitarian aid.

Lowcock, who visited Yemen late last month, briefed the UN Security Council behind closed doors at the request of Sweden.

On Monday, in response to the weekend missile attack on Riyadh by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia chose to close all of Yemen's air and seaports, stunting humanitarian relief operations in the country.

"Closing #Yemen's land, sea & air ports will only aggravate the dire humanitarian situation", George Khoury, the director of United Nations humanitarian operations in Yemen, said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Some 17 million Yemenis are in desperate need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

The Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the Houthis since they seized parts of Yemen in 2015, including the capital Sanaa, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee.

The U.N. humanitarian chief warns that unless the Saudi-led military coalition lifts its blockade on Yemen the war-torn nation will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims". It explained the decision to close airports, seaports and border-crossing points by the need to prevent weapons supplies for rebels from Iran.

The UN reports about 20 million people in Yemen - about 70% of the country's population - require humanitarian assistance, and the number of internally displaced persons exceeds three million.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross, Iolanda Jaquemet, said the shipment of chlorine tablets, while not huge, "was critical", given the scale of the cholera outbreak.

The Saudi Arabian coalition began an intensive campaign of air strikes against the Houthi rebels in support of the Yemeni government in March 2015.

United States joins Saudi in accusing Iran over Yemen moves