Published: Sat, December 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Saudi Arabia to Keep Rebel-controlled Port in Yemen Open

Saudi Arabia to Keep Rebel-controlled Port in Yemen Open

More than 8 750 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's fight against the Huthis in 2015, triggering what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. It escalated recently after Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade in response to the Houthi rebels firing a missile on Riyadh and the Houthis killed their one-time ally, former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudi-led coalition said the missile, the latest in a series of missiles fired toward Riyadh by Houthi rebels in Yemen, had targeted densely populated residential areas but was stopped by U.S. Patriot interceptors, resulting in no loss of life or damage. "If we do not, then Iran will bring the world deeper into a broadening regional conflict", she told the U.N.'s Security Council.

The White House said the missile, which was intercepted Tuesday, "was enabled by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps" that is backing Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen's civil war.

Via state media, Zarif called the USA moves provocative and said US officials were trying to "hide their support for the bombardment of the innocent Yemenis through such accusations".

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It also says if Iran is sending missiles to Yemen, it would violate two global arms embargoes - one against the Houthis and one against Iran.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up Hadi's government after the rebels seized the capital Sanaa, who continue to hold much of the country. The Houthis still control the capital and large parts of northern Yemen.

There were no immediate reports of injuries and there has been no official statement from the Saudi government.

The power vacuum in Yemen has opened the door for extremists, including Islamic State, to set up bases in the country.

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