Houthi Leader Urges UN Chief to Help End Saudi War on Yemen

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict which has sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict which has sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic

The regional chief of the United Nations children's agency said Saturday that Yemeni authorities are making it hard to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and warned that impeding relief efforts could plunge the country into starvation.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen attacked Sanaa International Airport and an adjoining airbase which were being used by Houthi insurgents to launch drone and ballistic missile attacks, the coalition spokesman told al-Ekhbaria TV on Friday.

The blockage of aid shipments has threatened starvation in Yemen, warned the United Nations, as fighting between the Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi rebels, reportedly backed by Iran, continues.

The united Nations Fund for children (Unicef) urged on Sunday the conflicting parties in Yemen to stop fighting, believing that the country had become a "hell on earth" for children, hit by starvation.

After UN-backed peace talks collapsed in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the so-called Saudi-led coalition "airstrikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen".

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Intensified fighting shook a key rebel-held port city on Yemen's Red Sea coast on Sunday, leaving dozens dead as the United Nations warned that children in the war-torn country face "a living hell".

The coalition has imposed a blockade on the port, however, allegedly as part of efforts to prevent the Houthis from using it as a landing point for weapons supplied by Iran.

Yemen has been at war since March 2015 when Houthi rebels occupied northern regions and forced the government into exile.

Earlier this week, the coalition sent more than 10,000 new troops towards Hodeidah ahead of a new offensive aimed at securing "areas liberated" from the Houthis, according to Yemeni government officials.

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.

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