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Saudi-led strikes hit defence ministry in Yemen capital

13 November 2017

Mohammed al-Houthi, who is on Saudi Arabia's terror list, said they will carry out these threats if the Saudi-led coalition and legitimate forces liberate the city and port of Hodeidah, west of Yemen.

Two air strikes targeted the ministry late on Friday and plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from the building, the rebel media network Al Masirah quoted witnesses as saying.

The coalition closed all ports and halted humanitarian shipments after Yemen's Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile over the weekend that was intercepted near Riyadh.

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The United Nations and more than 20 aid groups said on November 9 that the Saudi-led coalition's tightening of a blockade on war-torn Yemen could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

Saudi Arabia fears that the rebels will give its Shi'Ite rival Iran a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

Despite the reopening of Wadea, however, and the allowing of limited ships into southern Aden port, United Nations officials say that the Saudi-led coalition is still blocking all of their aid deliveries into the country, continuing the siege.

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The coalition tightened its blockade on Yemen after the missile was sacked.

Aid groups say 17 million people of Yemen's 27 million population suffer from food insecurity. Medical experts also warn that the blockade will worsen the country's cholera outbreak, which has affected nearly 1 million people.

The Houthis, fighters drawn mainly from Yemen's Zaidi Shiite minority and allied to long-serving former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, control much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa.

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Commercial flights in and out of Yemen will resume on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government lifted a week-long ban.

Saudi-led strikes hit defence ministry in Yemen capital