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'No Indication' Saudi Coalition Reopening Yemen Ports

15 November 2017

Girls react as they stand near their damaged house at the site of a Saudi-led airstrike near Yemen's Defense Ministry complex in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Saudi Arabia and its allies have said the tightening of restrictions on Yemen is a direct response to a missile attack against Riyadh earlier this month, claimed by the Iran-backed Huthis.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened, but demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida. United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock last week warned that unless the blockade is lifted, Yemen will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims". The humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged Yemen is now one of the deadliest in the world as starvation and lack of medical supplies leave millions at risk - the Saudi blockade of Yemen has added to the country's woes.

Their faces painted the colours of the Yemeni flag or in traditional dress, protesters marched to demand the end of a blockade on the country's ports, airports and border crossings, imposed last week by a Saudi-led military coalition battling the country's Huthi rebels.

The UN aid agencies said the coalition's move to ease the siege was not enough, and warned of mass starvation and health catastrophes in Yemen's north.

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

Saudi Arabia and the USA have accused Iran of supplying the ballistic missile used in that attack.

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement.

A man walks through rubble in the Yemeni city of Sa'ada following airstrikes in 2015.

'No Indication' Saudi Coalition Reopening Yemen Ports