United Nations body urges peace in Yemen, readies emergency supplies

United Nations body urges peace in Yemen, readies emergency supplies”

"What Yemen needs is peace", said David Beasley.

The Saudi-led coalition that has been attacking Yemen for over three years said it is halting its offensive on the western Yemeni city of Hudaydah, after almost two weeks of fierce air and ground assault to push out Houthi Ansarullah fighters from the strategic city.

Absi does not hide his displeasure at Western pressure seeking to halt military operations in Hodeidah, a key Red Sea port city overrun by Houthi militias.

Saudi Arabia's key Western allies, including the United States, have called for a ceasefire ahead of the United Nations-led efforts to reinstate peace after more than three years of war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation.

Residents in Hodeidah say they had feared a siege on the city, home to some 600,000 people, with only one major exit route still open to traffic, on the northern edge.

According to independent researchers, more than 56,000 people have been killed since January 2016, with the war triggering what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The city is now controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthis, but a five-month advance has readied the Saudi-led coalition for a ground assault on the city.

Saudi Arabia is leading the Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

An officer of the pro-government Giants Brigades told Xinhua by phone that "the large anti-Houthi military operation which will liberate the Hodeidah's port has not started yet".

On Tuesday, a Houthi spokesman had told a news conference broadcast on the rebels' Al-Masirah TV that they were ready for "war in the streets" of Hodeidah.

"The meeting is seen as a positive and important step towards strengthening and uniting the Arab coalition in achieving its objectives of assisting pro-government forces to retake much of the rebel-held areas", Adnan Al Adaini, deputy head of the information department of the Islah Party said.

AP reported that an informal agreement to reduce hostilities in and around Hodeidah had taken hold in the last two days, in what could be a prelude to peace talks.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths will brief the UN Security Council on the situation in that country today.

"We welcome early convening of UN-led talks in Sweden", Gargash, tweeted.

"(The) coalition will urge all parties to take advantage of window of opportunity to restart political process", he said. While it has air supremacy, the Houthis have proved better at guerrilla warfare.

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