Yemen ports to reopen

Yemen ports to reopen

Yemen ports to reopen

The United States is warning Americans traveling to Saudi Arabia about the risk of ballistic missile attacks from neighboring Yemen.

The blockade was imposed after a missile was sacked by Yemen's Houthi rebels at Riyadh airport on November 4.

The coalition allowed the resumption of worldwide commercial flights and opened Aden port last week, but it said the main aid route into the country (Hodeidah) would stay closed until it was "satisfied" its Houthi opponents could not use it to bring in weapons.

The missile was intercepted near Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport, sparking a war of words between Teheran and Riyadh, which accused Iran of "direct aggression" and supplying arms to the Houthis.

"Reopening the ports to aid but not to commercial imports is pitiful bartering with people's lives", Shane Stevenson, Oxfam's director in Yemen, said.

"We're monitoring these developments", Haq told reporters in NY. "Of course, if that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".

"We're facing the worst starvation seen in decades, and that won't change unless commercial shipments of food and fuel are allowed in".

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The coalition said on Wednesday that it would reopen the war-torn country's main airport and a key Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on Thursday.

"Humanitarian relief only provides a small portion of the essential goods needed in Yemen - commercial supplies are critical to feed the population and keep basic services running", it said.

The conflict in Yemen pits Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen's ousted president against the internationally recognised government and its main backer, the Saudi-led coalition. The airport had been open to only select humanitarian flights. The missile was shot down, but it was the farthest a projectile fired by Yemen's Shiite rebels, also known as the Houthis, had travelled into the kingdom.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the Yemeni government's fight against the rebels.

Nearly 9,000 people have since been killed, but millions face the risk of a deadly cholera epidemic and stand on the brink of starvation.

The country also faces a deadly cholera epidemic.

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