Saudi blockade on Yemen must be lifted 'for humanitarian reasons immediately'

07 December, 2017, 02:46 | Author: Diane Mills
  • A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

A spokesman quoted Aboul-Gheit as saying the global community should label the Houthis a "terrorist" organization.

It was not immediately clear if the rebels would allow Saleh's family to hold a funeral later in the day.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Tuesday as saying that Saudi Arabia, "on behalf of the US and the Zionist regime (Israel), has a very important role in creating insecurity" in the Middle East.

Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a rebel leader, said Tuesday that "some sons" of Saleh have been hospitalized, without providing further details.

RSF's sources said the journalists were forced to surrender the TV channel's access codes, enabling the Houthis to broadcast their own content. A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting the Houthis continues to blockade much of the country.

Many Sanaa residents remained hunkered down in their homes, fearing the rebels and the Saudi airstrikes, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear for their safety. Bob Corker in a previously scheduled meeting about Yemen.

Saleh, who ruled in Sana'a from 1978-2012, had a strong following in Yemen, including army officers and armed tribal leaders who once served under him. He later allied with the Houthi rebels hoping to exploit their strength to return to power.

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The bloody conflict has left impoverished Yemen as the world's leading humanitarian disasters with millions of people facing starvation.

They closed the ports last month after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile toward an airport in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, thereby blocking shipments of food and medicine and triggering broad worldwide outrage.

The rebels killed Saleh on Monday, days after he broke off his alliance with them against a Saudi-led coalition.

The Houthis and Saleh's forces began fighting each other in Sanaa last week.

The fighting has claimed more than 10,000 lives since then. Al-Masirah TV network, run by the Shiite Houthis rebels, also showed footage of what appeared to be Saleh's forces handing themselves in. That seems to have pushed Saleh into flirting with the coalition, ultimately leading to the breakdown of the rebel alliance.

Houthi supporters massed in their thousands near the capital's global airport, shouting "Sanaa is free and the state still stands!" and "Yemenis are one!" as rebel chiefs struck a conciliatory tone, declaring they were "ensuring the safety" of members of the GPC - a statement that stood in sharp contrast with the GPC's claims of a Houthi charge against them.

Jamie McGoldrick, of United Nations aid agency OCHA, said civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs.

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