US Tells Saudis to Allow Yemen Humanitarian Aid Immediately

US Tells Saudis to Allow Yemen Humanitarian Aid ImmediatelyUS Tells Saudis to Allow Yemen Humanitarian Aid Immediately

The US has urged the Saudi-led coalition to “facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid” in Yemen as millions suffer in the war-torn country due to the land and air blockade imposed by the Saudis.

“The United States is gravely concerned by the recent escalation in violence and continued dire humanitarian conditions in Yemen,” the White House said in a statement on Friday, Al Jazeera reported.

“We call on the Saudi-led coalition to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid and critical commercial goods, including fuel, through all Yemeni ports and to restore commercial flights through Sanaa Airport.”

In October, the Saudi-led coalition, bombing Yemen since March 2015, imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country after a rebel missile was shot down near Saudi capital Riyadh.

According to the Red Cross, nearly 80% of Yemeni residents need humanitarian aid to survive. Mounting international pressure forced the Saudis to allow some humanitarian aid in the last week of November.

But the killing of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has resulted in violent clashes aggravating the humanitarian situation further.

The statement comes two days after US President Donald Trump called on Saudi Arabia to “completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it”.

A senior US official, who did not want to be named, told Reuters news agency on Friday that the US had warned Saudi Arabia of threats in Congress over the dire humanitarian situation.

“We wanted to be very clear with Saudi officials that the political environment here could constrain us if steps aren’t taken to ease humanitarian conditions in Yemen,” the senior Trump administration official said.

  Temper Actions on Qatar, Lebanon

The Trump administration also asked Saudi Arabia to temper its actions with regard to Qatar and Lebanon.

Speaking in Paris on Friday, Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, urged Saudi Arabia to show restraint at the international levels.

“With respect to Saudi Arabia’s engagement with Qatar, how they’re handling the Yemen war that they’re engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences,” he said.


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