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The head of Saudi-led coalition in the war on Yemen has warned that the military alliance will attack Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah unless the United Nations intervenes.
On Thursday, Ahmed al-Asiri claimed that the coalition seeks to transfer humanitarian assistance to Yemen from the Red Sea port city of Mokha.
The United Nations has already rejected a call by Saudi Arabia and its allies to supervise Hudaydah, where tens of refugees were killed last week in an aerial attack blamed on Riyadh.
More than 40 people lost their lives and dozens of others were injured in an apparent Saudi airstrike that hit a boat carrying Somali refugees near Bab al-Mandeb Strait on Friday.
Riyadh and its allies have denied being behind the air raid despite witness accounts citing an Apache helicopter - which is only used by Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen - to have attacked the vessel.
The UN and Russia have warned against the humanitarian ramifications of any Saudi-led attack on the port city.
During a Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council convened by Russia, the Kremlin warned about “grave humanitarian consequences” that would come if Saudi Arabia goes ahead with a plan to attack Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah.
The attendants in the UNSC meeting discussed the grave humanitarian situation in Yemen and efforts toward a peaceful conclusion of the two-year-long war imposed by the Saudi regime on the Yemeni people.
Hudaydah is currently under the control of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters, who have been defending the impoverished country against the Saudi aggression since March 2015. The city, Yemen’s fourth largest and its biggest port, served as a thoroughfare for the transit of about 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports in the pre-war years.
2017.03.24 / 19:44