Saudi-led coalition air raid puts Yemen's Sana'a airport out of service

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne during a visit earlier this year to Saudi Arabia to promote the Australian defence industry

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne during a visit earlier this year to Saudi Arabia to promote the Australian defence industry

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement.

The Saudi ambassador to the United Nations on Monday said that his country is preparing to reopen all air and sea ports in areas controlled by the Yemeni government "within the next 24 hours".

The Yemen war has killed thousands and brought the impoverished country to the brink of starvation, as the coalition continues to fight alongside the government against the Huthis and their ally, strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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The UN has warned that an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day that aid shipments remained blocked. While the language of the resolution calls to "increase efforts to adopt all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent civilian casualties and increase humanitarian access", it does not call for an end to USA support of the Saudi-led coaltion attacking Yemen.

The UN's aid coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said there was no time to wait for a new inspection system to be set up.

Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo and would mean hazardous cross-line deliveries. Humanitarian agencies have been making gains in fighting starvation as well as the deadly cholera outbreak that has killed over 2,200 and made almost 1 million people ill. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable", he said. But, said McGoldrick, the blockade puts that progress in jeopardy. "The humanitarians are just holding things together, waiting for a peace process which is very much in the distance", he said. Yemen had commercial wheat stocks for three months for the entire population of 28 million and about 120 days of rice. "The continued closure by the Saudi-led coalition of critical seaports and airports is aggravating an already dire humanitarian situation".

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