War-stricken Yemen 'living hell' for all children

A scene at the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

A scene at the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

Since then, a Saudi-led, US -backed coalition supporting the largely exiled government has blockaded the rebel-held north and waged a devastating air campaign, causing thousands of deaths.

In his visit to Hodeida's main hospital, he saw cases of severe acute malnourished and children paralyzed by complications from diphtheria - an epidemic in Yemen.

CAIRO, Nov 2 - The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen attacked an airbase near Yemen's Sanaa International Airport used to launch drones, and ballistic missile launch sites near the country's capital, the coalition spokesman told al-Ekhbaria TV early on Thursday.

The regional chief of the United Nations children's agency said Saturday that Yemeni authorities are making it hard to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and warned that impeding relief efforts could plunge the country into starvation. In the course of this, he demanded an end to fighting, and an immediate halt to all airstrikes against populated areas. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also called for an end to the almost four-year conflict.

The Saudi-led coalition had not yet commented on the Houthis' statement.

The U.S. call comes almost a month after the slaying of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Consulate in Turkey causing global outrage against the Saudis.

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Airstrikes and naval artillery pounded rebel positions around the Red Sea costal city, where government backed-troops are launching a major ground assault in an attempt to wrest it from dug-in rebels.

Saudi and UAE officials have yet to comment on the USA call for a ceasefire and peace talks at all.

Yemen's defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the coalition for more than three-and-a-half years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.

The alliance, which relies on Western arms and intelligence, faces a challenge to seize the heavily-defended city without causing heavy casualties at time of increasing global scrutiny over the war that has killed more than 10,000 people.

UNFPA said lack of food, displacement, poor nutrition, disease outbreaks and eroding health care have dramatically affected the health and well-being of 1.1 million malnourished women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding their newborns.

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