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UNSC ‘closed’ session called over Saudi-led attack on Hudaydah

Aid relief arrives at the port of Hudaydah, Yemen on 21 May 2017 [Twitter]
Aid relief arrives at the port of Hudaydah, Yemen on 21 May 2017 [Twitter]

A closed session at the Security Council has been called by the United Kingdom this afternoon to discuss ways to halt the military operation in Hudaydah, Al Jazeera reported today.

The operation to retake Hudaydah, codenamed “Golden Victory” by the Yemen National Army, will impact more than 250,000 Yemenis, according to the UN. Yesterday, more than ten Saudi-led coalition air strikes pounded Hudaydah, according to Houthi armed group sources, supporting a ground assault by Yemeni government forces. There have been no reports on civilian casualties, although four Emirati troops were killed in battle according to Al Jazeera.

The move comes as part of efforts to regain control of Hudaydah, Yemen’s most strategic port through which as much as 80 per cent of aid for Yemenis travels in addition to its positioning in the Bab Al Mandeb strait, a vital maritime shipping route.

“The United Nations, the Security Council and the West do not care about Hudaydah or that it’s the last lifeline and only corridor for humanitarian aid for millions of Yemenis,” Hussain Al-Bukhaithi, a pro-Houthi and Yemen-based journalist told MEMO.

Read: Saudi, UAE begin all-out battle on Yemen’s Hudaydah

“The UN is not directing Saudi Arabia to stop attacking Hudaydah, the country that started this war in Yemen. The UN is only focusing on the Houthis, and only wants them to retreat back to Saada and hand over their weapons, which is not possible.”

Saudi Arabia has been supported with logistical support by the United States since March 2015, and has killed more than 10,000 people according to the UN.

The Saudi-led coalition continues to accuse the Houthis of using the Hudaydah port to smuggle Iranian weapons, despite the coalition continually monitoring the Bab Al Mandeb strait which leads to the port. There has been no empirical evidence to suggest that the Houthis are receiving arms via the Hudaydah port.

Two UN special envoys to Yemen have officially failed to avert the attack on Hudaydah, while recognising the detrimental humanitarian impact it will have on the port city. Meanwhile, Martin Griffiths, the current UN special envoy for Yemen is continuing to negotiate with all sides of the conflict to keep Hudaydah open for aid imports.

Read: France wants ‘negotiated political solution’ in Yemen

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