January 21, 2019

Bipartisan Group Calls for Clarity on US Military Action in Yemen

14 June 2018, 09:26 | Darnell Patrick

Bipartisan Group Calls for Clarity on US Military Action in Yemen

Bipartisan Group Calls for Clarity on US Military Action in Yemen

Saudi Arabia launched a war against the Houthis in March 2015, after the rebels drove Yemen's internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa.

Saudi air defences today intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Jizan after being fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition said. "But if Hodeidah city is attacked it might be hard as we can't risk sending our staff to the frontline".

The United Nations is engaged in "intense" negotiations with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to avert a military confrontation in Yemen's port city of Hudeida that could worsen the country's already dire humanitarian crisis, Antonio Guterres, the world governing body's chief, had said.

The strike coincides with the advance of coalition-backed Yemeni forces on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida, the main conduit for humanitarian supplies into a country teetering on the brink of starvation.

More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war that also displaced over 3 million and pushed the impoverished country into the brink of starvation.

"We will continue to discourage any attack on Hodeidah port and will continue to use our influence to do so", Alistair Burt, a foreign office minister, told the House of Commons.

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The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted military coalition spokesman Col.

UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths has been holding talks with the Houthis to hand over control of the port to the United Nations, Yemeni political sources have said.

Griffiths has been working on a peace plan that calls on the Houthi group to give up its ballistic missiles in return for an end to a Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign and a transitional governance agreement.

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

During the closed session, Griffiths was to brief council members by video-conference from Amman along with United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock.

Clashes continue to escalate a few short miles from the major Yemeni aid port of al-Hodeidah, as Saudi-backed attackers continue to advance up the coast toward the city of 600,000 people, fighting the Shi'ite Houthi rebels.

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