Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemen’s Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemen’s Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemen’s Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

Saudi-led forces conduct mass strikes on Yemeni capital & beyond, despite United States "calls for ceasefire" The Saudi-led coalition has carried out a series of airstrikes against "legitimate military targets" in Sanaa and elsewhere across Yemen, several days after senior USA officials somewhat hypocritically called for a ceasefire.

The appeal came as fighting intensified in the key rebel-held Red Sea port city of Hodeida, despite growing worldwide pressure to end a conflict that has left the country on the brink of starvation.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

But the secretary-general stressed that the U.N.'s immediate priority is to stop the bombing in populated areas and preserve critical infrastructure including in the key port of Hodeida, the main entry point for global aid and 70 percent of food imports that Yemen relies on.

The clashes erupted as pro-government units arrived in the vicinity of the university, and hours after the Yemeni government, based in Aden, said it was ready to resume peace negotiations with the rebels. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the country with the world's biggest humanitarian crisis, with 7 million Yemenis on the brink of starvation and cholera causing more than 2,000 deaths.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday had called for a halt to violence to pull Yemen back from the "precipice".

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Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), appealed for an immediate ceasefire.

"As an global community we have been shamefully slow to act to end the crisis in Yemen", she said in a statement Sunday.

"Figures, in fact, don't say a lot but are important because they call us all to realize how bad the situation is disastrous", he said.

But the Houthis, who control the capital and much of northern Yemen, have so far showed few signs of weakening in the three-year-long conflict that has become a military stalemate.

UN-backed peace talks between the Huthis and government collapsed in September after the rebels refused to travel to Geneva unless the United Nations guaranteed both their delegation's safe return to Sanaa and the evacuation of wounded fighters.

Houthi Ansarullah fighters launched drone attacks against the King Khalid airbase in Saudi Arabia's Asir region last night in retaliation for Riyadh's bombing of a rebel airbase near Yemeni capital Sana'a airport a day ago.

On Tuesday it was reported that the real death toll in Yemen was likely five times higher than the official count given.

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