Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Scores of rebels killed in Yemen's western coast

Scores of rebels killed in Yemen's western coast

Clashes continue to escalate a few short miles from the major Yemeni aid port of al-Hodeidah, as Saudi-backed attackers continue to advance up the coast toward the city of 600,000 people, fighting the Shi'ite Houthi rebels.

With the failure of diplomatic efforts, the clock is now ticking to the launch of a military offensive to liberate the port city.

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock, who also briefed the council, said an attack on Hodeida would be "catastrophic" and that aid agencies were hoping to "stay and deliver" in Yemen, which the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The lawmakers also want more transparency about the US role in Yemen, The Hill reported.

The coalition backing Yemen government troops has been closing in on Hodeida after accusing Houthi rebels of smuggling weapons through the port.

French farmers call for pursuit of fuel blockades
The move came after the French energy giant Total chose to use a cheaper, imported palm oil at its biofuel plant. The companies, on the other hand, have urged people to not panic-buy gas as it would result in shortages.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced three million and unleashed the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab state which is struggling with a starvation and cholera epidemic, according to the United Nations.

The UN and aid agencies have pleaded with the Saudi-led force against an attack on Hodeida, warning that it could lead to mass civilian casualties and starvation. "Cutting off imports through Hodeidah for any length of time will put Yemen's population at extreme, unjustifiable risk". Malnutrition, cholera and other diseases have killed or sickened thousands of civilians over the years. 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. Seven civilians, including four children, were injured in the airstrike located less than 100 meters from the NRC facility.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa. The U.N.is also pushing the militants to turn over arms in exchange for an end to the bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres met Yemen's foreign minister at the United Nations headquarters in NY on Monday.

Guterres, the United Nations chief, said there has been a recent "lull in the fighting" to allow for discussions and hopefully avoid a battle.

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