Yemeni forces inching closer to Hodeida city

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Her statement repeated a United Nations warning that half the population of Yemen - some 14 million people - could soon be on the brink of starvation.

Iranian and Yemeni media reported that a Yemeni Qasif-1 (Striker-1) combat drone had hit the King Khalid airbase without giving details of damage or casualties. "More than half" of the 14 million people, at serious risk of starvation in the impoverished country, are children, Cappelaere told AFP.

Almost three quarters of the country's imports flow through Hodeida, from where they are transported by land to areas further north.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the so-called Saudi-led coalition "airstrikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen".

The regional chief of the United Nations children's agency said Saturday that Yemeni authorities are making it hard to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and warned that impeding relief efforts could plunge the country into starvation.

"Unfortunately, Amal is not the only Yemeni child suffering that fate", he told a news conference in Amman, Jordan. And despite reassurances from the United Kingdom government that its intelligence support and training of the Saudi-led forces is helping reduce civilian casualties, the latest report from the Yemen Data Project (YDP) shows that 48pc of all known airstrikes hit non-military targets.

The Hodeida clashes erupted on Thursday just hours after the government said it was ready to restart peace talks with the Iran-backed Huthis.

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UN refugee agency UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie said the worldwide community had been "shamefully slow" and urged the UN Security Council to find a negotiated end to the war.

"As an worldwide community we have been shamefully slow to act to end the crisis in Yemen", she said in a statement during a trip to South Korea.

He said both the internationally-recognized Yemeni government and Houthi rebels "are not enabling us to do our work as fast as we should".

The airstrikes in Sanaa came days after a US call for an urgent halt to the Saudi-Iran proxy war in Yemen and the start of negotiations in November toward a political settlement of the conflict.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis. Peace negotiations collapsed this September, and despite calls for renewed talks, thousands of government troops are amassing around the Red Sea port of Hodeidah ahead of a renewed offensive.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the Houthis and return President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

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