Saudi-led coalition bombs airport runway in Yemen's capital

Crude Oil Brent NYMEX

Source Optuma

Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday the world body is aware of an announcement that the coalition was allowing deliveries to two ports in southern Yemen, AP reported.

The UN has warned that an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day that aid shipments remained blocked.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said.

Tuesday's move to ease the blockade came three days after the coalition reopened Aden seaport and Alwadiah land border crossing between Saudi Arabia and northeast Yemen, but the coalition has kept the Houthi-controlled northern ports shut.

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of already suffering people closer to "starvation and death".

Girls react as they stand near their damaged house at the site of a Saudi-led airstrike near Yemen's Defense Ministry complex in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a Houthi ballistic missile attack near Riyadh's worldwide airport.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers. More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in the epidemic.

The IS-claimed attack took place at a building in the Sheikh Othman district in the central part of the city. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Mouallimi said the Saudi-led coalition wants tougher inspections at the port of Hodeida, which is controlled by Houthi Shiite rebels, because current United Nations -monitored inspections only check large ships, and "in the case of small and medium-size ships there is hardly any inspection that takes place in the port or anywhere else".

Latest News