The coalition led by Saudi Arabia says that to keep the port open, air strikes kill at least 9 Yemenis



ADEN (Reuters) – The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Wednesday it would keep open Hodeidah port controlled by Houthi in Yemen for a month, despite the new missile attack in Riyadh, but kept the attacks airplanes that died in at least nine people.

The Western-backed coalition, which controls Yemen's airspace and port access, said last month that it would allow humanitarian aid through Hodeidah after a nearly three-week blockade imposed by a missile attack on the airport international of the Saudi capital.

The Saudis say that the Red Sea port, which is Yemen's main entry point for food and humanitarian supplies, is also a center used by the Houthi rebels allied with Iran to bring arms.

On Wednesday, the coalition confirmed that it would maintain open access to the port despite a new ballistic missile attack in Riyadh on Tuesday by the Houthis, which Saudi forces also intercepted.

"Eager to maintain humanitarian aid to the brotherly Yemeni people and as a result of the intensification of the inspection measures, the coalition command announces that the Hodeidah port will remain open for humanitarian and aid supplies," the coalition said. In a statement from the Saudi Arabian state news agency on Wednesday.

The coalition said ships carrying fuel and food could also enter for another 30 days while implementing the proposals made by the UN envoy to Yemen, he added.

The agency did not give more details about the proposals. But the coalition has been demanding that a UN inspection regime agreed in 2015 be stricter to prevent arms from reaching the Houthis.

Yemen's nearly three-year war opposes Iran's Houthis allies, which control the capital Sanaa, against the Saudi-led military alliance, which backs the government that now has its base in the southern port of Aden .

Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals.

Tuesday's missile strike occurred when the Houthis marked 1,000 days since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen war in March 2015 to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after an advance Houthi at his base in Aden will force him to flee.

More than 10,000 people have died and a humanitarian crisis unleashed in a conflict that has intensified since the death of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on December 4.

FRESH AIR STRIKES

Coalition forces, which are supported by the United States and Great Britain, meanwhile launched fresh air attacks during the night.

Residents said at least nine members of the same family, including at least five children, were killed in an air strike that hit their home in Wadi Khair in Shabwa province in southern Yemen.

The coalition aircraft have been providing air support to southern fighters and pro-government troops as part of a campaign to get the Houthis out of Shabwa and the family was killed in a seemingly mistaken attack.

Residents also reported that coalition aircraft bombed a new house of parliament, part of a government complex that is being built in Sanaa, causing damage but without casualties.

The coalition did not comment immediately on the report but says it does not target civilians.

Similar aerial attacks in which homes, markets and civilian hospitals were affected are recurrent in Yemen. On Monday, eight women and two children from the same family were killed when warplanes hit a vehicle returning from a wedding party in Marib, east of Sanaa.

The coalition accused Iran of sending the missile that was fired at Riyadh in November, and the United States last week showed what it said was evidence that it was provided by Iran. Tehran has denied the report.

The closure of Yemen's ports and airports last month caused shortages of food and fuel in a country that is already recovering from three years of war that has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than two million and caused an epidemic of cholera that had infected someone million.

The coalition was strongly criticized internationally, which led to the relief of the blockade.

Report of Hesham Hajali and Mohammed Mukhashaf in Aden, written by Aziz El Yaakoubi,; Edition of Sami Aboudi and Richard Balmforth

Our standards: The principles of trust of Thomson Reuters.

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