Three Saudi civilians killed by Houthi-launched missile in Jazan

Yemenis drop off boxes of humanitarian aid provided by the Emirati Red Crescent in the coastal town of Mujailis south of the city of Hodeida

Previous U.N. efforts have failed to end the more than three-year-old conflict which pits the Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, against other Yemeni forces backed by a coalition loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and led by USA allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hudeida", Guterres said.

The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

Wam quoted the governor of Al Hodeidah, Al Hassan Ali Taher, as saying: "Intensified preparations are under way, including [the movement] of heavy artillery and troops to push Houthis out of the city".

Griffiths, who briefed the council by video conference from Amman, has revived a year-old plan to turn over Hodeida port to a neutral party, diplomats said.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have ramped up missile attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks and months.

The United Nations has begun evacuating staff from Hodeidah ahead of an expected assault by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the Yemeni army advances towards the port city.

The UN said last week that up to 250,000 people could die if the port is attacked or besieged.

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia
Houthis fire two ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia

Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jazan without causing casualties, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Burt said: "The UN special envoy has previously expressed concern that conflicts in Hodeidah could take peace off the table "in a single stroke".

Meanwhile, the U.S. was following developments in Yemen very closely, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The U.N.is also pushing the militants to turn over arms in exchange for an end to the bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal.

"But we are also anxious about the humanitarian situation", he said. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hudeidah", Lowcock said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had spoken with Emirati leaders and urged them to work with the United Nations but his statement fell short of warning the coalition against launching an all-out offensive.

The UN considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

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