Saudi-led coalition wants Yemen weapons checks strengthened before main port reopens

UN council fails to push Saudi coalition over Yemen blockade

The Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels", the statement said.

Hedile noted the first flight carrying 218 passengers took off today.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi movement said last week it had closed all air, land, and seaports in Yemen to stem what it said was the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran.

Al-Sammad said that with the blockade, the coalition "shut down all doors for peace and dialogue".

The Saudi-led coalition went to war against the rebels, known as Houthis, in March 2015 on behalf of Yemen's internationally recognized government.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a Houthi ballistic missile attack near Riyadh's worldwide airport.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation. The war has killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and left much of the infrastructure in ruins.

More than 20 million people, more than half of whom are children, are in need of urgent assistance. The more the blockade tightens, he said, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy". The UN has called it the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world".

In this April, 13, 2017 photo, Yemeni children wait to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has demanded the re-opening of key ports for humanitarian shipments to Yemen, including the Red Sea port of Hudaydah and Sanaa airport.

Stephane Dujarric said Guterres welcomes the reopening of the port in the city of Aden but that this "will not meet the needs of 28 million Yemenis".

Guterres called on the coalition to enable the resumption of United Nations humanitarian flights to Sanaa and Aden airports, and the re-opening of Hodaydah and Saleef seaports so that fuel, food and medical supplies can enter Yemen, said the spokesman.

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