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United Nations warns of massive starvation if Yemen blockade isn't lifted

United Nations warns of massive starvation if Yemen blockade isn't lifted”

Following the attack, the Saudis accused Iran of "direct military aggression" by supplying missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The coalition shut down Yemen's borders in response to a missile attack by Yemen's Huthi rebels that was intercepted near the Riyadh airport.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir by phone yesterday and received some "indication that they will be examining the reopening of entry points into Yemen", said Cardi.

Iran on Tuesday denied Saudi accusations of supplying Houthis with missiles.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp‎s had violated two UN resolutions on Yemen by providing weapons to the Houthis.

"We encourage the United Nations and worldwide partners to take necessary action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for these violations", Haley she had said, adding, "the United States will not turn a blind eye to these serious violations of global law by the Iranian regime".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sharply criticized Saudi Arabia over its alleged support for terrorism and causing "hostility among the nations of the region".

Federica Mogherini, Europe's top diplomat, on Tuesday called for calm, warning that the mounting tension was "extremely dangerous". "What we need is a winding down of the blockade.so that we can save the lives of those people", he said.

Council members expressed concern about the "dire humanitarian situation in Yemen" and stressed "the importance of keeping all of Yemen's ports and airports functioning", Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, who holds the council presidency, told reporters after the meeting.

"The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi movement in neighbouring Yemen said on Monday it had closed all air, land and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran", Reuters reports.

The decision could further limit access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen, which imports up to 90 per cent of its daily needs.

Mark Lowcock, the United Nations under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, urged the Saudi-led coalition to lift its blockade of the conflict-torn country.

United Nations aid agencies and other relief organizations have said the border closures have led to a surge in prices of many goods.

"Long lines of cars are queuing at gas stations", he added.

According to the United Nations, some seven million people in Yemen are on the brink of starvation and were only being kept alive thanks to humanitarian operations.



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