United Nations scrambles to avert coalition attack on key Yemen port

The following year, Saudi Arabia, together with several other Arab nations, launched a military campaign in support of Yemen's internationally recognised government aiming to roll back advances made by Houthi rebels after they overran much of the country in 2014.

More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since the war began, tens of thousands have been wounded, and another two million people have been displaced. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah".

The Department for International Development (Dfid) warned international aid groups on Saturday that diplomatic negotiations to avert the attack were failing. Turki Al Malki, said that at 2:55 local time, the southern Region Operations Center announced that extremist Iranian-backed Houthi militia targeted civilians with a projectile, which resulted in the death of three civilians in the Jazan Governorate.

During his meeting with Yemen's new Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany, Mr Guterres stressed that "everyone should redouble efforts to find a political solution and avoid a fierce, bloody battle for Al Hodeidah", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Griffiths is set to present on Monday a new peace plan for Yemen, but he has warned that military action could derail that effort.

He said the UN's Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths, was shuttling between the capital of Yemen Sanaa and also the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on all parties "to honor their commitments to work with the U.N".

The Pentagon has already been scrutinized by lawmakers for refueling Saudi and UAE jets in the yearslong conflict and deploying USA special forces troops to dismantle Iran-backed missile launchers near Yemen's northern border without seeking congressional authorization.

Since the Coalition launched its support for the Yemeni government in March 2015, Houthis have fired 149 ballistic issiles and 66,315 projectiles toward Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, warned: "A military attack or siege on Hodeida will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians".

After briefing the Security Council on Monday, U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock told reporters that "if for any period Hodeidah were not to operate effectively the consequences in humanitarian terms would be catastrophic".

He cited the possibility that the United States could potentially do more on humanitarian relief, if asked, but said "right now we have not been asked to do more than what we're already doing".

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