Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemens Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemens Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

Saudi-backed forces advance towards Yemens Hodeidah as UN warns of famine

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition claimed to have been responsible for an attack on Sanaa International Airport and an adjoining air base being used by Houthi insurgents.

A Saudi-led military coalition on Friday announced it had struck an airbase and several missile platforms in Sanaa that are affiliated with Yemen's Shiite Houthi militia, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Guterres' remarks come three days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a cessation of hostilities and said UN-led negotiations to end the war should begin in November.

According to the World Health Organization, almost 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, though some rights groups estimate the toll could be five times higher.

The United States and Britain have called for an end to the conflict, raising pressure on Saudi Arabia as it faces a global outcry over the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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.

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The UN says about 14 million people, or half Yemen's population, could soon be on the brink of starvation in a man-made disaster.

Yemeni children are dying from starvation and disease as trucks with life-saving supplies are blocked in port, leaving medical staff and desperate mothers imploring aid workers to do more, a senior United Nations official said.

Yemen has been at war since March 2015, when Houthis occupied northern Yemen, forcing the government into exile.

Geert Cappelaere, Middle East director for the UN Children's Fund (Unicef), described "heart-breaking" scenes of emaciated children in hospitals in the port city of Hodeidah and capital Sanaa, both held by Houthi rebels. The U.S. has sold billions of dollars worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and provides logistical and other support to the coalition.

The Saudi-led military campaign has drawn criticism from the United Nations over widespread civilian casualties, and helped push Yemen to the brink of starvation.

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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