Millions face starvation in Yemen as Saudi refuses to reopen Hodeideh port

Millions face starvation in Yemen as Saudi refuses to reopen Hodeideh port

Millions face starvation in Yemen as Saudi refuses to reopen Hodeideh port

"This halted the only flights at Sanaa airport - those of the United Nations and other worldwide organisations delivering humanitarian assistance", the rebel-run General Authority for Civil Aviation said. More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting almost one million people, AFP reported.

On Monday, Riyadh announced that it would be re-opening the airports and seaports in the Arab world's poorest country following worldwide pressure.

Saudi officials offered no justification for the attack, which added even further to United Nations concerns about the shortages across Yemen.

United Nations aid operations need access to the ports of Hodeida and Saleef because more than two-thirds of the people in need are closest to those ports, he said.

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Houthi officials told Al Jazeera two air strikes targeted Sanaa's worldwide airport in the rebel-held capital early on Tuesday, making it unusable for aid flights and further complicating humanitarian efforts into the country.

A Yemenia airlines official said a flight took off from Cairo and landed in Aden on Tuesday before returning to the Egyptian capital. The port of Aden controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia but does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced a suspension of border crossing via air, marine and land routes following a ballistic missile fired from Yemen targeting Saudi capital Riyadh on November 6.

The fiery comments by Saleh al-Sammad, the head of the Presidency Council of the Houthis, came during a rally of thousands of rebel supporters marching down a main boulevard in the capital, Sanaa.

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He also said that the more the blockade tightens, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy".

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's top priority humanitarian crisis, with more than 17 million people lacking food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

It said the first steps will start within 24 hours and will include the southern ports of Aden and Mukalla and the Red Sea port of al-Mokha, which are all controlled by Hadi's government. The war has killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and left much of the country's infrastructure in ruins.

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