'No Indication' Saudi Coalition Reopening Yemen Ports

Posted November 15, 2017

The missile was intercepted near the capital of the country. The Houthis have denied that.

A Yemenia airlines official said a flight took off from Cairo and landed in Aden on Tuesday before returning to the Egyptian capital. The north of the country, home to 78 percent of the population, had 20 days' stocks of diesel, crucial for pumping water and fighting cholera, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon, he said.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's top priority humanitarian crisis, with more than 17 million people lacking food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

The strike comes just a day after Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi agreed to reopen some ports to allow aid in.

Meanwhile in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, the United Nations dismissed Houthi claims that a Saudi-led air strike had destroyed the navigation station of the global airport, which is critical to receiving already limited aid shipments.

"This halted the only flights at Sanaa airport - those of the United Nations and other global organisations delivering humanitarian assistance", the rebel-run General Authority for Civil Aviation said.

Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who is based in Amman, said UN staff had visited the airport and spoken with authorities there.

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"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters. Since then, Yemen has suffered devastating and indiscriminate airstrikes launched by a Saudi-led coalition to restore Hadi to power. The resolution does not address whether US support for the Saudi-led coalition in the conflict triggers the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which lawmakers are split over.

Saudi Arabia said Monday that the coalition would reopen seaports and airports in areas controlled by the Yemeni government, but those in rebel-held areas, including Hudaydah and Sanaa, would remain closed.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said.

While coalition announcements about the availability of two ports in southern Yemen are "helpful", the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, which are now inaccessible to United Nations aid shipments.

United Nations aid operations need access to the ports of Hodeida and Saleef because more than two-thirds of the people in need are closest to those ports, he said.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted for a resolution declaring that U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen is not authorized under previous legislation which has given the president power to combat terror overseas and invade Iraq in 2003.

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