Trump calls on Saudi Arabia to lift Yemen blockade

07 December, 2017, 02:42 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Supporters of Shiite Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sanaa Yemen following the killing of ex President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Houthi rebels have blown up the residence of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudi-led coalition warned the city's residents to evacuate rebel-controlled areas, as worldwide aid groups warned Monday they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa.

RSF's sources said the journalists were forced to surrender the TV channel's access codes, enabling the Houthis to broadcast their own content.

The Arabian peninsula's poorest country, Yemen is one of the most violent fronts in a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who have also backed opposing sides in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the Middle East.

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

A video circulating online on Monday showed Saleh's body with a gaping head wound dumped in a pickup truck by rebels — a grisly end recalling that of longtime strongman Saleh's contemporary, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, in 2011.

Global anti-poverty organization Oxfam praised Trump's action but called on him to do more to stop the bloodshed, including pushing for a ceasefire and ending arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition.

The killing of Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the country's Shiite rebels as their alliance crumbled has thrown the almost three-year civil war into unpredictable new chaos.




The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the armed Houthi movement in Yemen's civil war started a blockade of ports a month ago after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired toward its capital Riyadh from Yemen. The coalition threw its support behind Saleh when he turned on the rebels, and may now back his son.

Following Saleh's death, the Saudi-led coalition was reported to have blitzed Sanaa with an intensified campaign of airstrikes. He also called for a new approach in the battle against the rebel militia, who were allied with Saleh before he turned against them by backing the Saudi-led coalition.

More than 11,000 civilians are feared to have been killed in the conflict.

In other areas like Fag Attan, Saleh's forces are still surrounded by Houthis.

The war and blockade has plunged Yemen into a major humanitarian disaster, leaving 20 million people in need of aid. The ensuing conflict has claimed more than 8,750 lives.

Clashes in the Yemeni capital have killed at least 234 people and wounded 400 since December 1, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday.

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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