Yemen Aid Shipments Still Blocked by Saudi-Led Coalition

Yemen Aid Shipments Still Blocked by Saudi-Led CoalitionYemen Aid Shipments Still Blocked by Saudi-Led Coalition

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Saturday three shipments of aid and medical staff it is trying to send to Yemen were still blocked, despite appeals to the Saudi-led military coalition which controls Yemeni air space and ports.

The ICRC is seeking security guarantees for two planes to Sanaa, one with medical supplies for up to 1,000 wounded people and a second with 30 tones of medical and water sanitation supplies, as well as a boat to take a surgical team to Aden, Reuters reported.

The aid organization on Tuesday accused the Saudi-led coalition, which is waging a 10-day-old campaign of air strikes on Houthi fighters in Yemen, of preventing aid deliveries.

“Our supplies are still blocked,” spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen said. “The situation is getting worse, every passing hour people are dying in Yemen and we need to bring this in urgently”.

She was speaking ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting called by Russia to discuss a humanitarian pause in the air strikes.

UN relief coordinator Valerie Amos said on Thursday 519 people have been killed in the fighting in the past two weeks and nearly 1,700 wounded, without specifying whether those figures included combatants.

  Pakistan, Turkey Support

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu received Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Cankaya Palace on Saturday. The two leaders were assisted by senior members of their respective delegations during their detailed discussions. Afterwards, they addressed a joint press conference, the World Bulletin reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the deteriorating situation in Yemen needed immediate attention. He added that Pakistan would make all possible efforts to help resolve the issue in a peaceful manner. He reiterated the stance that Saudi Arabia is a close friend and that Pakistan attaches great importance to its security and territorial integrity. He informed his Turkish counterpart about the recent visit of a high-level Pakistani delegation, led by the Minister for Defense, to Saudi Arabia.

 “We agreed to call upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolve the differences peacefully,” said the prime minister. He added that Pakistan and Turkey agreed to work together in their common resolve to have a peaceful resolution of the current crisis.

The Pakistani prime minister stressed that Saudi Arabia is a close friend for both Pakistan and Turkey. “Our two countries agreed that we will stand by Saudi Arabia in its hour of need and shall extend all possible support in the defense of Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The prime minister added that we also have close and brotherly relations with other Islamic countries in the region and attached great importance to their security and territorial integrity. He renewed the commitment that Pakistan would stay engaged with the Saudi leadership and those of other Muslim countries in the region for amicable resolution of the issue.

  Call for UNSC Session

As fighting in Yemen intensifies Russia has called up an emergency UN Security Council session to put on pause Saudi-led coalition airstrikes for humanitarian purposes in an effort to quell the violence that is impacting civilians.

Russia insists it is necessary for the international community to discuss the establishment of regular and mandatory “humanitarian pauses” in the ongoing coalition air strikes on Yemen, Russian UN mission’s spokesman Aleksey Zaytsev told Sputnik.

An extraordinary meeting is scheduled for Saturday at the UN headquarters in NYC.

A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been engaging Houthi militias from the air for over a week now, after the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was forced to flee the country and asked for an international intervention to reinstate his rule.