Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of ‘living hell’

Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of ‘living hell’

Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of ‘living hell’

Yemen's Houthi rebels said they launched a drone air attack on a royal Saudi air force base in the Saudi southern border province on Saturday, rebel-run Al-Masirah TV reported.

Yemeni forces under the command of the United Arab Emirates, a major pillar in the anti-Houthi coalition, are battling Houthis over control of the port and the coalition accuses Houthis of using the port to smuggle in weapons from Iran.

Yemen has been at war since March 2015 when Houthis occupied northern Yemen, forcing the government into exile, resulting in a Saudi-led coalition being formed to support the government that has waged a destructive air campaign in the country.

The conflict has caused almost 10,000 deaths, mostly civilians, and caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that Yemen is teetering "on a precipice", appealing to the worldwide community to put an end to the Saudi war on the impoverished nation.

On Thursday, Yemen's internationally recognised government said it was ready to re-start peace talks with the Houthis after recent efforts to meet ended in failure.

Clashes broke out in a strategic Yemeni port city and airstrikes pummeled the country's capital Friday, as the US -backed Saudi-led coalition launched a fresh offensive in the Middle East's poorest country, two days after an American call for a cease-fire.

The United Nations recently called on belligerents to sit at the negotiating table within a month, after unsuccessfully trying in September to hold peace talks in Geneva. In the course of this, he demanded an end to fighting, and an immediate halt to all airstrikes against populated areas. "More than half" of the 14 million people, at serious risk of starvation in the impoverished country, are children, Cappelaere told AFP.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

Despite a high-profile modernisation drive aimed at improving Saudi Arabia's image and attracting foreign investment, rights groups have detailed a crackdown on activists, increase in executions and discrimination against the Shiite minority.

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