Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

2 dead in Saudi Arabia from Houthi missile attack

2 dead in Saudi Arabia from Houthi missile attack

Troops belonging to a Saudi-led Coalition have intercepted a shipment of money, forged passports and travel documents bound for Houthi militias fighting against Yemen's legitimate government, a spokesman of the alliance said on Monday.

The Iran-backed rebels, who have so far refused to withdraw from the port, claim 418 loyalist fighters have been killed.

"Our message is clear. if this assault happens then it would be very hard to imagine how hard the situation the people in Yemen, particularly in Hodeidah, will be in", said Muhsin Siddiqui, country director of Oxfam. "We left it in his hands for the time being", Nebenzia told reporters.

Despite a possible imminent attack, the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Monday that was not stopping operations, and is aiming to help 6,000 people.

The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen's infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the United Nations to describe the situation as one of "the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times".

Workers inspect damage at the site of an air strike on the maintenance hub at the Hodeida port, Yemen May 27, 2018.

Currently NRC can still access some districts in the north of Hodeidah, he added.

Oxfam said the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) sent aid groups in Yemen warnings on Saturday evening for staff to evacuate the port city by Tuesday. "Humanitarian organisations have rushed to develop a contingency plan".

More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war that also displaced over 3 million and pushed the impoverished country into the brink of starvation.

The more than three-year-old conflict in Yemen is widely seen as part of a proxy battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, has been in a virtual stalemate with the Houthis since a coalition offensive began in March of 2015.

The UN considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance. Oosterom described Hodeidah as a "lifeline" for aid deliveries in Yemen. Malnutrition, cholera and other diseases have killed or sickened thousands of civilians over the years.

"An assault on Hodeidah will unleash shocking brutality on 170,000 children that call the city home, and sever a vital supply line for millions more across", the charity tweeted.

Yemeni government forces have advanced to within nine kilometers (six miles) of Hodeida, the Saudi-led military coalition said last week.

Only half of Yemen's health facilities are functional and almost 10 million people are in need ahead of an anticipated outbreak of cholera, MSF added. In fact the MSF has issued a clarification and apologized, he said. The charity does not have any current projects in Hodeidah, a spokesperson told The Defense Post.

The United Nations pulled all of its global staff out of Hodeida early Monday morning.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

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