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United Nations scrambles to avert 'fierce bloody battle' for Yemen port

United Nations scrambles to avert 'fierce bloody battle' for Yemen port”

Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have been advancing along the western coast in recent weeks as they battle the Iran-allied rebels, known as Houthis.

During his meeting with Yemen's new Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany, Guterres stressed that "everyone should redouble efforts to find a political solution and avoid a fierce, bloody battle for Hodeida", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The offensive also risks plunging the country into further violence as the coalition tries to wrest control of the strategic city from the rebels. Some 600,000 people live in and around the city.

The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday at the request of the United Kingdom to be briefed on the situation after heavy clashes were reported in Yemen's third largest city on Friday and Saturday.

The missile was shot by Houthi militias targeting various Saudi areas, mainly border cities.

"What we should not see is an attack on Hodeida port".

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

Sanaa Yemen
Sputnik Faisal Al Shabibi Yemeni Houthi Rebels Shell Government Forces- Reports

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.

The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen's infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the United Nations to describe the situation as one of "the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times".

The conflict in Yemen has left almost 10,000 people dead in what was already the Arab world's poorest country.

Such terrorist attacks will not affect determination of the Saudi-led Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, the statement read.

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

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said there are "intense negotiations" and his Yemen envoy is involved in shuttle diplomacy to stave off the attack. United Nations staff operating out of the port ae already being withdrawn, anticipating the calamity to come.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that he had spoken with Emirati leaders and urged them to work with the United Nations to ensure "the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports" through Hodeida.



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