Trump calls on Saudis to lift Yemen blockade 'immediately'

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

But Almadhaji said frustrations of local residents - and the readiness of some to put their hopes in Saleh - go well beyond the Saudi-led blockade and are increasingly focused on the faults of Houthi rule.

Southern separatist fighters, backed by government forces and the Saudi-led coalition, allegedly took part in the offensive against the rebels, Yemeni journalist Yaser al-Hasani said.

At least 234 people were killed in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, in the past several days in clashes between Shia Houthi rebels and forces loyal to slain former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed Monday, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) official said Tuesday.

Videos posted across social media platforms showed a convoy entering the town to the chanting of locals welcoming the troops arrival.

Houthi forces control Sanaa and much of the rest of the impoverished country, where three years of war has killed more than 10,000 people and brought it to the verge of starvation.

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Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr announced that President Hadi will issue a general pardon to all those who participated in the Houthis and then cut their ties.

The killing of Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the country's Shiite rebels on Monday, as their alliance crumbled, has thrown the almost three-year civil war into unpredictable new chaos. Officials at Saudi-backed Saleh's party vowed to revenge their leader's death and to continue fighting against Iranian-aligned Houthis.

Trump stopped short of calling for a pause in Saudi-led bombing of the country, which is home to what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. "This week's fighting resulted in the disruption of emergency services in Sanaa..."

"This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately".

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