Yemen suffers deadly strikes as Russia calls for dialogue to resolve crisis

Yemen suffers deadly strikes as Russia calls for dialogue to resolve crisis
By Sarah Taylor with Reuters, AFP, Wall Street Journal
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Amid fresh violence in Yemen, Russia calls for dialogue to resolve what the UN says is currently 'the worst man-made humanitarian crisis'.


At least 16 people were killed in rocket fire and air strikes across Yemen on Monday (January 22). In Saada, in the northwest of the country, at least seven people reportedly died as a house also acting as a hospital was bombarded by the Saudi-led coalition.

In the southwestern city of Taez, Houthi rebel rocket fire killed at least nine, including a journalist, according to a government official.

Call for dialogue

The fresh violence came as Russia called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned political dialogue needed to replace military intervention in the nearly three-year civil war.

"There is no alternative but to end an armed confrontation in Yemen as soon as possible", he urged.

"It is essential that the participants in the conflict give up their attempts to solve the existing problems by force," he insisted.

Lavrov pledged that Russia would pursue dialogue with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, in addition to 'other Yemeni political parties and all interested countries, including the Arab coalition', in an effort to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Saudi aid

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced 'new humanitarian aid' to the tune of 1.2 billion euros in an operation to increase the capacity of ports in Yemen and assist the delivery of aid. Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition of around ten Muslim-Arab countries, has been criticised for its military presence in Yemen.

Worst man-made humanitarian crisis

The United Nations has labelled the situation in Yemen 'the worst man-made humanitarian crisis of current times'. Yemen was already dubbed the Arab world's poorest country before the conflict started in 2015. But now, the UN says, thousands have been killed and millions are on the verge of starvation.

On Sunday (January 21) it launched the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan offering what it says is 'the only lifeline' for millions of the population. The $2.96 billion (2.41 billion euro) response project aims to 'reach over 13 million people with lifesaving assistance'.

The worst-affected, the UN reports, are Yemen's children: nearly two million are out of school and 1.8 million under the age of five are acutely malnourished.

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