UN trying to avert assault on Yemen port

Yemenis drop off boxes of humanitarian aid provided by the Emirati Red Crescent in the coastal town of Mujailis south of the city of Hodeida

UN trying to avert assault on Yemen port

The Huthis captured Hodeida and Yemen's capital Sanaa in 2014, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies intervening on behalf of the government the following year.

The Western diplomat said there were "a couple of last ditch attempts" to try to see whether there were any options to de-escalate, including a plan to "see some sort of a temporary ceasefire", but that would involve the Houthis putting their weapons down or potentially even moving out of the port.

Assistance provided by King Salman Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Aid (KSRelief) as part of the comprehensive humanitarian operations in Yemen have until Monday benefited 4,791,792 Yemeni citizens, he said. The city is split between government and rebel control.

"We are hoping for the efforts of the special envoy to bring positive results on it, and we left it in his hands for the time being", Nebenzia said.

The U.N. chose to evacuate its staff after member states were told that an attack was imminent, the New York Times reported.

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

UN trying to avert assault on Yemen port

The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday at the request of the United Kingdom to be briefed on the situation after heavy clashes were reported in Yemen's third largest city on Friday and Saturday.

Urgent British-led efforts at the UN were under way to dissuade the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis from pressing ahead with the attack - or at least to give undertakings that it will not seek to starve Hodeidah into submission. Other attacks on Riyadh have taken place since, the most recent being in May.

"We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the U.N.", Pompeo said, adding that they should also "support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen".

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to push back the Huthis and restore the internationally recognized government to power.

The conflict has left almost 10,000 people dead in Yemen, already the Arab world's poorest country.

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