Key ports for humanitarian shipments to Yemen remain closed

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He also said that the more the blockade tightens, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy".

The House of Representatives on Monday held its first ever debate over USA military engagement in the civil war raging in Yemen and passed a non-binding resolution calling on parties to wage the conflict humanely and work toward bringing it to an end.

While coalition announcements about the availability of two ports in southern Yemen are "helpful", the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, which are now inaccessible to United Nations aid shipments.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen shut down the country's entry points a week ago, after a missile attack was sacked by Houthis at Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened, but demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida.

A top leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels who are at war with a Saudi-led military coalition is vowing retaliation against the oil-rich kingdom over its disastrous blockade of the war-torn country. Iran denies arming the Houthis and blames the two-and-a-half-year conflict in Yemen on Riyadh. The north of the country, home to 78 percent of the population, had 20 days' stocks of diesel, crucial for pumping water and fighting cholera, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon, he said.

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The UN has warned that an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day that aid shipments remained blocked. "This will have no impact on our operations once they resume", Mr McGoldrick said.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia said it would begin opening airports and seaports, but that has not happened yet.

United Nations aid operations need access to the ports of Hodeida and Saleef because more than two-thirds of the people in need are closest to those ports, he said.

The United Nations has warned a total blockade could cause starvation in Yemen, where war has killed at least 10,000 people in the last two and a half years.

It says those ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla. And landing aid there would also involve having to cross front lines to deliver it.

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