Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of 'living hell'

Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of 'living hell'

The official spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki Al-Malki, stated that the coalition forces conducted a targeted operation of legitimate military targets in Al Dailami airbase.

A spokesman for the coalition said its forces attacked the worldwide airport in the capital, Sanaa, and a nearby air base operated by the rebels, known as Houthis.

On Friday, AFP news agency reported that fierce battle between forces loyal to Hadi and Houthi fighters near Hodeidah resulted in the death of at least 34 rebels and six pro-government troops.

On Wednesday, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said that 1.8 million Yemeni children under the age of five were facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 were affected by severe acute malnutrition.

The UN appeal came just a few days after the USA, in a significant shift, exerted pressure on Riyadh, a close ally, to end the aggression against the Yemenis by calling for a truce and peace talks.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Sunni Muslim allies have been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis for more than three years. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

According to local residents, non-stop explosions are still rocking the main entrances of Hodeidah amid intensified airstrikes by Saudi-led warplanes against Houthi-controlled sites. Without action, up to 14 million people - half of Yemen's population - could be at risk in the coming months, up from 8 million who are now facing starvation, said Guterres. The port is a key entry point for food and humanitarian aid, but the coalition says the Houthis also use it to import weapons.

The Saudi-led coalition had not yet commented on the Houthis' statement.

Despite a high-profile modernisation drive aimed at improving Saudi Arabia's image and attracting foreign investment, rights groups have detailed a crackdown on activists, increase in executions and discrimination against the Shiite minority.

Yemeni children are dying from starvation and disease as trucks with life-saving supplies are blocked in port, leaving medical staff and desperate mothers imploring aid workers to do more, a senior United Nations official said.

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