Trump demands Saudi Arabia allow aid into Yemen 'immediately'

A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

Mr Saleh was killed earlier this week after moving to switch allegiances in the bloody conflict, making the situation in the country unpredictable according to experts.

The UN last month warned that Yemen faces a mass starvation that will affect millions of lives unless the Saudi-led coalition ends its blockade and allows aid deliveries into the country.

Last month, Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Yemen after Houthi rebels fired a missile on the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Trump's call comes a day after United Nations called for a "humanitarian" stop to to airstrikes and fighting in Yemen, in order to to allow for the delivery of aid to civilians trapped in the capital Sanaa.

Fighting in Sanaa has spiked in recent days during a showdown between Huthi rebels and loyalists of Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh's death came after he bypassed his Huthi allies of three years, telling the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen he was ready to negotiate if the crippling siege were lifted.

"We know the Saudi-led coalition has sent some messages to the people in Sanaa to stay away from Houthi installations for fear of air strikes, so we are trying to wait and see when things become slightly more clear and we can move around more freely", he said.

He said residents were stocking up on supplies but that fuel shortages were a big concern for the days ahead. Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East. Aid workers and locals described the two-day pounding of the city as among the most intense since the Saudi-led coalition became involved in Yemen's civil war almost three years ago. Food, medicine and fuel are scarce and too expensive for most to afford. More than 10,000 people have been killed, 2 million displaced and 7 million are totally reliant on humanitarian aid. After losing power, he stayed in Yemen, retained loyal army commanders and forged an alliance with his former enemies, the Houthis, against the current internationally recognized president of Yemen, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

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