UN chief urges restraint following reported Saudi-led assault in Yemen
Amid reports of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike near Yemen’s port city of Hudaydah, Secretary-General António Guterres expressed concerns for the attacks in a Saturday statement attributable to his Spokesperson, Stephane Dujjaric.
An early morning strike on 20 September in the vicinity of the Al Hali District of Hudaydah governorate-in the country’s western coast- was carried out by a Saudi military operation, according to media reports.
The assault comes after Yemen-based Houthi rebel forces launched two drone attacks on major Saudi oil facilities on 14 September, a violation of UN ceasefire agreements reached at peace talks in Sweden last year.
“The Secretary-General continues to urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint and ensure adherence to the terms of the Hudaydah Agreement of 13 December 2018,” the Spokesperson said.
“He recalls that the parties reconfirmed their commitment to the ceasefire established by the Agreement during the latest joint meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee earlier this month,” he added, in which members agreed to deploy monitoring teams on Hudaydah frontlines as a step aimed at sustaining the truce.
Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Grifiths warned on Monday that the initial Houthi-led attacks could be sounding the alarm that the war-torn country could be dragged further into conflict.
The four-year clashes between Houthi rebels and the internationally-recognized Government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
The UN humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, estimates roughly 80 per cent of the population—or 24 million people—require humanitarian aid.