Maronite Patriarch Arrives in Saudi Arabia

Controversial Saudi crown prince to open peace centre in 2018

He said many weapons have been smuggled to the Houthis through Hodeida and the small ports they control.

Millions of lives were at risk because of the blockade, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said to reporters in Geneva by telephone from Amman.

McGoldrick said the Saudi plan to supply Yemen through the Saudi port of Jizan in the north and Aden in the south was too complicated, dangerous, slow and expensive, adding an estimated $30 per tonne to every shipment.

An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen shut down the airport in the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, further isolating the country where millions are on the brink of starvation, the state news agency SABA reported.

"This will have no impact on our operations once they resume", McGoldrick said in an email from Amman, Jordan.

Humanitarian agencies had been successful in preventing starvation and tackling a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 900,000 people in six months and killed over 2,200.

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The coalition of 10 Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States intervened in Yemen's conflict in March 2015 to recapture territories including the capital Sanaa from Iran-aligned Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels. The Saudi closure had drawn worldwide condemnation and fears of a worsening humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

The Islamic State group meanwhile struck a fresh blow to Saudi-allied forces in the country's south, where a suicide auto bombing early on Tuesday targeted security forces in the port city of Aden, killing at least six people and wounding scores.

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

Ambulances rushed to the site, where the building was badly damaged, and debris and body parts littered the area.

After two years of a devastating war, the Houthis still control much of Yemen's north while the south falls under the embattled President of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the global community and who is supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

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