Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted

Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted

"We are, at the present moment, in intense consultation", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Monday.

During his meeting with Yemen's new Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany, Mr Guterres stressed that "everyone should redouble efforts to find a political solution and avoid a fierce, bloody battle for Al Hodeidah", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hodeida".

And while the United Nations continues its diplomatic efforts, they also appear to be preparing to fail, saying they believe an attack by UAE forces on Hodeidah is imminent.

The United Nations warned Friday that a military attack or siege on Hodeida would affect hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Mr Griffiths held several rounds of talks last week in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, which is held by the rebels.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. was following developments in Yemen very closely, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo's statement, while cautionary, did not explicitly urge the Emiratis to avoid an assault on Hodeidah.

He said "90 percent of food, fuel and medicines in Yemen are imported" - and 70 percent come through Hodeida, including desperately needed humanitarian aid for over 7 million people.

The coalition backing Yemen government troops has been closing in on Hodeidah after accusing Houthi rebels of smuggling weapons through the port.

After briefing the security council on Monday, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told reporters that "if for any period Hodeidah were not to operate effectively the consequences in humanitarian terms would be catastrophic".

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Saudi Arabia has been targeted for leading an Arab coalition in fighting the Houthi rebels since 2015.

Despite a possible imminent attack, the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Monday that was not stopping operations, and is aiming to help 6,000 people.

"The Coalition condemns such threats posed by Houthi militias, underscores the importance of enforcing the humanitarian and worldwide law as regards the protection of relief personnel and workers in embattled zones", he said.

He cited the possibility that the United States could potentially do more on humanitarian relief, if asked, but said "right now we have not been asked to do more than what we're already doing".

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