Saudi-Led Coalition Says It Attacked Airbase, Missile Sites in Sanaa Airport


An estimated 10,000 people have been killed.

More than 50 Houthi rebels were killed during helicopter shelling and ground fighting within the past 24 hours, medical sources based in Hodeidah confirmed to Xinhua. Since then, a Saudi-led, US -backed coalition supporting the largely exiled government has blockaded the rebel-held north and waged a devastating air campaign, causing thousands of deaths.

On Friday, AFP news agency reported that fierce battle between forces loyal to Hadi and Houthi fighters near Hodeidah resulted in the death of at least 34 rebels and six pro-government troops.

Yemen's internationally-backed government and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused the Houthi rebels of using Hodeidah's port to smuggle Iranian weapons.

In remarks released late on Friday, Houthi called on the United Nations chief to issue "a binding resolution" to end the devastating war on Yemen.

"The Yemeni government is ready to immediately discuss all confidence-building measures", it said in a statement. The United Nations estimates that if this continues 14 million people, half of Yemen's population, could be in a state of starvation as a result of the conflict.

Friday in Yemen was much like any other, with Saudi warplanes pounding areas in and around the northern cities of Hodeidah and Sanaa.

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And Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), appealed for an immediate ceasefire.

"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.

"The only way to enable refugees to return home, and to bring down the overall numbers worldwide, is to end conflicts themselves".

A previous attempt to take the city in June ran into difficulties and was halted ahead of UN-led peace consultations in Geneva which collapsed in September after the Houthis failed to show up.

The development comes a day after the Yemeni government said it welcomed "all efforts to restore peace" following calls by key United States officials and the UN's envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths for warring parties to come to the table "within a month".

In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition unleased a full-scale military campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels who had captured most of Yemen including the capital, Sanaa, a few months earlier. The killing prompted critics to urge an end to American arms sales to the kingdom and a reappraisal of USA military support for the Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been bombing Iranian-supported Houthi rebels, sometimes at the expense of killing civilians.