Three Saudi civilians killed by Houthi-launched missile in Jazan

The UN chief said that Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths was shuttling between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi

The UN chief said that Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths was shuttling between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi

United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told reporters after briefing the Security Council behind closed doors later Monday that it's critical to prevent "a battle" for Hodeida, which is a vital link for supplying millions of Yemenis with the necessities of life.

The three-year stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than three million.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni forces continued to make ground advancement during the battles with Houthis on Yemen's west coast near the Hodeidah Airport. The UN has been scrambling to try to negotiate a way to avoid the attack.

Oxfam's Yemen Country Director, Mohsin Siddiquey, said aid groups were "moving very fast" to evacuate staff in Hodeidah before the imminently expected attack has a "catastrophic impact". There is no sign of major progress having been made in recent days, however.

His efforts to convince the rebels to hand over control of Al Hodeidah to UN-supervised worldwide forces had failed, according to reports.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres met Yemen's foreign minister at the United Nations headquarters in NY on Monday.

U.N. Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths has been holding talks with the Houthis to hand over control of the port to the United Nations, Yemeni political sources have said.

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Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

"The Coalition condemns such threats posed by Houthi militias, underscores the importance of enforcing the humanitarian and global law as regards the protection of relief personnel and workers in embattled zones", he said. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hudeida", Guterres said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on all parties "to honour their commitments to work with the UN".

The port city, held by Houthi rebels, serves as an entry point for 70% of foreign humanitarian aid into Yemen, according to the UN.

The U.S., he said, is closely following developments in Hodeidah and urged Emirati leaders to preserve "the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".

The UN and aid agencies have pleaded with the Saudi-led force against an attack on Hodeida, warning that it could lead to mass civilian casualties and starvation.

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