Trump urges Saudi Arabia to lift Yemen blockade

Saudi-led forces have been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015

President Donald Trump called on Saudi Arabia to immediately end a blockade of Yemen that is preventing people in the war-torn country from receiving essential supplies, a rare criticism of a key US ally.

The Saudis, who are concerned about Iranian influence in Yemen, first imposed a blockade on the war-torn country last month after Houthi rebels there launched a missile on the Saudi capital of Riyadh. More than 10,000 people have been killed, 2 million displaced and 7 million are totally reliant on humanitarian aid.

The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, has struggled to convince Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pay more heed to the humanitarian crisis.

He was killed by his erstwhile Houthi allies on Monday, two days after announcing he was switching sides in the war to oppose them.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday that at least 234 people had been killed and another 400 wounded since December 1.

Mr Beasley told CBS: " "I don't think there's any question the Saudi-led coalition, along with the Houthis and all of those involved, are using food as a weapon". The Saudi-led coalition and allied forces have stated their intention to recapture Sanaa from the Houthis, raising the possibility of fierce urban warfare in Yemen's most populous city, a place already suffering from severe shortages of electricity and essential goods as a result of the conflict.

The ICRC has appealed for "bold measures" to provide life-saving care to civilians after the "unprecedented" escalation of fighting.

"We're living in a state of fear". The president's statement appeared to be a veiled criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has led the kingdom's campaign in Yemen and has been publicly praised by Trump for his efforts to clamp down on terrorism and corruption.

He also noted "the fact that USA support has helped create Yemen's horrific crisis" and called on Washington to cease military assistance if parties don't agree an immediate ceasefire and a political settlement.

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