Assault on Hudaida could cost 250000 civilian lives: United Nations

Saudi Arabia's missile defense system intercepts several missiles fired from rebel-Houthis.   Screenshot via Twitter  Rosie Perper

In a statement issued on Friday, Grande expressed her concern that "Up to 250,000 people could lose everything, even their lives" as a result of a possible military attack on the coastal city of Hodeidah.

As many as 600,000 civilians are now living in and around the rebel-held city, a vital lifeline through which most of Yemen's population gets food and medicine, according to estimates by the United Nations and its partners. "We can confirm that United Nations global and national staff remain in place in Yemen, including in all five active field hubs (Aden, Hodeidah, Ibb, Sa'ada and Sana'a)", said Jens Laerke of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "My aim is to restart negotiations which have not taken place for a very long time, for too long, and I want that to restart in the very near future", he said.

One of the missiles fell on Yemeni land and the second one in a desert area, Turki Al Maliki, spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to fight the Houthi rebels, was quoted as saying in a statement.

The conflict between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and Yemen's government, allied with Saudi Arabi, has claimed 10,000 lives and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

Yemeni military artillery units hit Houthi targets in Sirvah, killing 20 Houthi rebels.

Houthi supporters hold up rifles as they rally to protest the killing of Saleh al-Samad a senior Houthi official by a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Hodeidah Yemen
Red Cross pulls foreign staff out of Yemen

Coalition officials could not immediately be reached for further comment.

The conflict pits the Iran-aligned Houthis, who took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, against other Yemeni forces backed by a coalition loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and led by US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its allies, who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies, launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains. The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people have been killed, and three-quarters of the population depend on worldwide aid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it had pulled 71 international staff out of Yemen because of security incidents and threats, moving them to Djibouti.

The ICRC relocated the majority of its worldwide staff from across Yemen to Djibouti, Marie Claire Feghali of the Red Cross told The Associated Press Friday.

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