Coalition forces 4km from Hodeidah in new drive to recapture port city

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He said the figures were "a reminder for all of us to realize how dire the situation has become".

The State Department's deputy spokesman Robert Palladino urged the Houthi group to immediately cease missile and drone strikes into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and told the Saudi-led coalition to halt air strikes in populated areas in Yemen, reports Reuters.

The bloodshed comes despite growing global pressure to end a years-long conflict that has killed thousands and pushed the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of starvation.

"An end to the conflict is. a much-needed step but it needs to be complemented with investment and governance of this country that puts the interest of the people at the center and the interest of the children at the core of politics", Cappelaere said.

According to the World Health Organization, almost 10,000 people have since been killed.


The appeal came as fighting intensified in the key rebel-held Red Sea port city of Hodeida, despite growing global pressure to end a conflict that has left the country on the brink of starvation.

Geert Cappelaere told The Associated Press in an interview from Yemen that recent US calls for a cease-fire are imperative to ending the almost four-year war, which pits a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-aligned rebels known as Houthis.

A pro-government medical source said that mortar shells landed on residential areas and caused casualties among citizens.

Residents confirmed to Xinhua that the two-warring sides started exchanging artillery shelling and large explosions were heard across the city.

The clashes erupted just hours after the government said Thursday it was ready to restart peace talks with the Iran-backed Huthis.


The coalition has deployed thousands of troops to retake Hodeidah, a vital entry point for imports and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis after more than three years of war.

Geert Cappelaere also told The Associated Press in an interview from Yemen that a USA call for a cease-fire is imperative to end the "brutal war".

UN-backed peace talks between the Huthis and government collapsed in September after the rebels refused to travel to Geneva unless the United Nations guaranteed both their delegation's safe return to Sanaa and the evacuation of wounded fighters. Yemeni government officials said on Tuesday that the coalition had sent more than 10,000 new troops towards the battleground city.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the war in the following year to bolster Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi whose government fled to the southern city of Aden.

Mr Hunt echoed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who on Friday appealed for an end to the war and said recent political developments had created signs of hope for a settlement.


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