Friday, 23 February, 2018


Trump calls on Saudis to lift Yemen blockade 'immediately'

Trump calls on Saudis to lift Yemen blockade 'immediately' Trump calls on Saudis to lift Yemen blockade 'immediately'
Bennie Garza | 08 December, 2017, 00:13

US President Donald Trump took the rare step Wednesday of publicly demanding that ally Saudi Arabia immediately allow humanitarian aid into war-ravaged Yemen, as residents in the capital Sanaa scrambled for supplies.

Riyadh has imposed a blockade on Yemen's ports after a Huthi missile was intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4.

Although the blockade later eased and showed signs of breaking on Wednesday, Yemen's situation remained dire.

"President Trump on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the people of Yemen, in a statement that reflected the growing alarm of relief agencies and amounted to an unusually harsh public scolding of one of his administration's closest allies".

"This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately", the statement added. More than 10,000 people have been killed and two million displaced, and seven million are totally reliant on humanitarian aid.

The intervention in Yemen has been led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has otherwise received praise from Trump and the USA media for his progressive reforms that have included allowing women the right to drive a vehicle and diminishing the role of Saudi Arabia's religious police.

People who have contracted cholera. Yemen's population of 27 million is nearly entirely reliant on imports for food, fuel and medicine.

A Saudi-led coalition in Yemen fighting Houthi rebels in a civil war has already produced what the United Nations calls the world's biggest humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. and its allies have played a major role in Yemen by assisting Saudi aircraft in refueling, providing intelligence, and selling billions in arms and military equipment. The US has also carried out drone strikes against terrorist camps in the country.

Almost one million people have contracted cholera, and three million, out of a population of 28 million, are internally displaced, according to the UN.

Death toll from week-long clashes in the Yemeni capital Sanaa has increased to 234 people, while 400 others were wounded, including 383 severely injured, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the Middle East said on Tuesday.

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