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Main » Saudi-led blockade could 'starve and kill' millions in Yemen

Saudi-led blockade could 'starve and kill' millions in Yemen

13 November 2017

The United Nations says the closure could cause a starvation in Yemen that could kill millions of people if ports are not reopened.

The coalition shut down Yemen's borders earlier this week after Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Huthis near the Riyadh airport.

A Saudi-led alliance has lifted a blockade of two key airports in Yemen, broadcaster Al Arabiya reported, amid warnings that millions in the war-torn country could starve without deliveries of food aid.

Yemen lies beside the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the most important trade routes in the world for oil tankers, which pass near Yemen's shores while heading from the Middle East through the Suez Canal to Europe.

The blockade has already led to a fuel crisis in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, where hundreds of cars lined the roads Wednesday after the Houthis ordered the closure of fuel stations.

"Washington aids the forces of aggression, politically and militarily, and has pushed them into risky pitfalls", Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdul Salam said on the group's Al-Masirah TV channel.

In an interview with Tasnim, Bakil al-Hamini referred to the tight air, land and sea blockade of Yemen and said, "The fact is that if it hadn't been for United Nations silence and U.S. support, Saudi Arabia would never have dared to impose (such) critical conditions on the people of Yemen".

Three years into a brutal conflict, Yemen depends on imports - amounting to up to 90 per cent of its daily needs - and millions in the country are being kept alive by humanitarian aid.

Iran denies it supplies arms to the Houthis but has said the missile was a reaction to Saudi "aggression".

The torpedo, nicknamed Al-Manbab, is reportedly capable of hitting enemy ships from far away, although the exact firing reach remains unknown.

Saudi-led blockade could 'starve and kill' millions in Yemen