Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Saudi forces lift Yemen airport blockade

Saudi forces lift Yemen airport blockade

The United Nations and more than 20 aid groups said on November 9 that the Saudi-led coalition's tightening of a blockade on war-torn Yemen could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

"It will be the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades", Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the media late Wednesday, after briefing the Security Council. Over 20 million people need humanitarian assistance, including 7 million facing "famine-like" conditions, they said.

Aid groups report that food supplies are expected to run out within six weeks, while vaccines against disease are likely to last only a month. "We can do anything", he said, adding that it was the Houthis' "legitimate right" to do so.

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The Arabian coalition, which is fighting the rebels-Houthis in Yemen, lifted a temporary ban on flights to airports in Aden and Sauna in Yemen. The rebels said they closed the stations after merchants refused to fix prices.

"The EU urges the Coalition to ensure the immediate resumption of the U.N.'s flights and activities in the ports of Hodeida and Saleef and the opening of land borders for humanitarian relief and basic commercial commodities", Christos Stylianides said on Saturday.

He also threatened that giant oil facilities in Saudi Arabia will be among the major targets of their "capable missiles", in reference to ballistic missiles smuggled from Iran.

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According to defenseworld.net, the announcement comes after Saudi air defense forces reported that they had intercepted a ballistic missile in midair that was sacked from Yemen over northern Riyadh.

Al Masirah said the decision to threaten coalition vessels was taken after a meeting of naval officials who had discussed the possible response to the closure of Yemeni ports.

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