Saudi & U.S. blockade of Yemen port Hodiedah intended to cause mass starvation

They Want to Cut the Main Vein of Yemen. US Supported Naval Blockade, Widespread Famine

By Yemenpress,

The Saudi-led coalition is desperate to be able to occupy Hodiedah province, where the main port of Yemen is located, from which all the essentials of life enter Yemen. The blockade has been in force for more than three years, for weakening the Yemeni front.

Presently, 90 percent of food and medicines come to Yemen via Hodiedah, making the port vital lifeline to Sana’a with some other ports under control of occupying forces. Since Saudi Arabia waged a war against Yemen on 27 March 2017, Saudis have take actions to wrest the major port from Ansar Allah forces. Air raids on the area’s infrastructure and Ansarullah positions is common during the three years of war.

According to the UN aid agencies, 60 percent of the Yemen’s population, i.e. 17 million people, are food insecure, with 7 million of them being in critical conditions. If this predicament does not ease, this number will touch 17 million Yemeni by end of the year, the UN adds. In general, over 22 million of the country’s 27-million population needs humanitarian aids.

Hodiedah is a central aid intake point. So, if the port fall or its encirclement is completed, Sana’a and other Ansarullah-held cities will slump in dire straits economically and nutritionally. Saudi Arabia struggles to control Hodiedah to tighten the noose on the Yemenis.

The Saudi leaders hope that a blend of war, military blockade, and famine will press Yemen into acceding to the Arab coalition’s demands. The plan alerted the UN, which on June 16, 2017, in a warning statement ask the Saudi-led forces to avoid staging an assault on the port city on the Red Sea coasts.

Yemen is already reeling from the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis where 22 million people need vital assistance. Attacking the port would still manage to make it even worse. The US-Saudi assault would lead to mass starvation, and the loss of life would be measured in the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions.

But three years of war has taught the inexperienced Saudi decision-makers that they will never manage to defeat the united Ansar Allah and Yemen army for the full occupation of the Arab country. A war that was scheduled to end in fall of Sana’a the capital within three weeks, has lasted three years and shows no outlook for the end.

As a respod Sayyed Abdulmalik al-Houthi, in one of his speeches, warned the US-Saudi coalition from their continued closure of Yemeni ports, including the port of Hodiedah, stressing the right of Yemen to take any sensitive steps in response, “we know the sensitive areas that we could target if the ports kept closed.” Sayyed Abdulmalik explains that “today the port of Hodiedah is being threatened and we cannot turn a blind eye to that.”

Hodiedah is Yemen’s fourth largest city and is densely populated. Its port is a key lifeline, handling nearly 80 percent of the country’s food imports.

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Featured image is from Yemen Press.

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‘Double standards: US, UK, France stand by Saudis in Yemen but pose as moral crusaders in Syria’

‘Double standards: US, UK, France stand by Saudis in Yemen but pose as moral crusaders in Syria’

'Double standards: US, UK, France stand by Saudis in Yemen but pose as moral crusaders in Syria'

The Syria attack reveals the hypocrisy of the West – which fuels the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen despite documented abuses – but relies on unverified claims to punish Syria, journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark told RT.

As Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen enters its fourth year, it has been repeatedly accused by rights groups of civilian casualties during the bombardment. However, in Syria’s case, reports of a chemical weapon attack in Douma that are yet to be independently corroborated became the trigger for a coordinated military action, Clark pointed out.

“On the one hand, they are rolling out the red carpet for Saudi leaders and they are supporting, either directly or indirectly, the Saudi bombing of Yemen, which is causing a great humanitarian catastrophe – and how many children has that conflict killed?

“On the other hand, they pose as moral paragons, as moral crusaders when they claim children have died in Syria’s chemical weapons attack without evidence,” he said.

Clark argued that by continuing its weapons sales to Riyadh, the West “has been feeding and supporting that conflict.”

Between March 2015 (the start of the Saudi-led campaign) and February 2018, almost 6,000 civilians were killed and 9,500 wounded, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In its report in March, Amnesty International said it has documented at least 36 coalition airstrikes that appeared to be carried out in violation of international humanitarian law, many of which may constitute a war crime. At least 513 civilians perished in their raids, including 157 children, it said.

“So, on one hand we have got documented evidence of children dying in huge numbers in Yemen through cholera and through bombing. That’s true, that’s evidence, actually. And the same powers responsible for that are bombing Syria in response to unverified claims of attacks on children in Syria,” Clark said. “The double standards are totally, totally off-the-scale.”

Just last month, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, US President Donald Trump, and French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Gulf country’s defense minister and de-facto ruler who is on a charm offensive in Europe and the US.

As a result, the UK, which has provided a steady supply of arms to the ultraconservative kingdom, signed a huge arms deal with Riyadh that will see it purchasing 48 Typhoon jets from British firm BAE Systems.

In his own meeting with bin Salman in Washington, President Trump boasted about $12.5 billion in finalized sales of American weapons to Saudi Arabia. In May 2017, he chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip as president and signed a record $350-billion arms deal.

France, which according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) was Saudi Arabia’s third biggest weapons supplier between 2013 and 2017, might soon also conclude a new series of deals with the kingdom.

Last week, a French defense minister official told Reuters that France had agreed on a new arms export strategy with Saudi Arabia. According to reports in French media, Paris can soon start selling navy patrol boats and Caesar artillery canons to Saudi Arabia, manufactured by CMN and Nexter respectively.

 

The Saudi-israeli Liaison

The Saudi-Israeli Liaison
By Lawrence Davidson

Information Clearing House” – In a 2 April 2018 interview in the Atlantic, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman publicly declared that the Israelis “have a right to live in their own land just like the Palestinians.” It is a problematic assumption, given that the Israelis’ “own land” is the land they took away from the Palestinians. This, and much else, has been either forgotten or ignored by the Saudi crown prince.

Seventy-three years ago Saudi Arabia’s first king, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, expressed a very different position in a series of letters to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For instance in a letter of November 1938 Ibn Saud had wrote “The [European] Jews have no right to Palestine and their claim is an act of injustice unprecedented in the history of the human race.” Sadly, there was in fact plenty of precedent when it came to colonial injustice, but Ibn Saud’s declaration certainly demonstrated the King’s depth of feeling. Other letters followed, predicting that Palestine was bound to become a “hotbed of disturbances and troubles” if the Zionists got their way.
The two leaders finally met face to face in 1945 on the U.S. Cruiser Quincy during FDR’s return trip from Yalta. In that meeting Roosevelt tried to convince the Saudi ruler to allow European Jewish occupation of Palestine. Ibn Saud countered that “Make the enemy and the oppressor pay; that is how we Arabs wage war.” He continued, “Amends should be made by the criminal, not by the innocent bystander. What injury have Arabs done to the Jews of Europe? It is the ‘Christian’ Germans who stole their homes and lives.” He finally added that “The Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their land to the Jews.”
Part II – What Has Changed?
Now Crown Prince bin Salman shows us that a lot has changed in the intervening years. Zionist Israel has become an established “fact on the ground” and thus settler colonialism is well rooted in Palestine. Saudi Arabia has, perhaps begrudgingly, accepted this change – and it is not hard to see why.

 

The Saudis have built their security around an alliance with Israel’s major backer, the United States. One price paid for that alliance has been a de facto acceptance of Israel’s existence. Thus, Saudi dislike of Israel has been largely rhetorical. However, it would seem that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has finally abandoned even that facade. That is why during the prince’s recent trip to the U. S., he was found publicly rubbing shoulders with AIPAC. 

 

In the face of their inability to do anything about the Zionist occupation of Palestine, the Saudis have moved on to focus on other enemies. This proved easy because there has always been another assumed foe out there. This enemy is the Shiite Muslims, whom the Sunnis have always seen as apostates. Specifically, the enemy is now Shiite Iran. The Saudi crown prince, once more resorting to hyperbole, claims that country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “makes Hitler look good.” Then there are Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Zaydis Houthi of Yemen – all Shiite and all seen as enemies.
The interesting part of this shift in enemies is that by now focusing on the Shiites, and particularly Iran (which, since the 1979 revolution, has not accepted the permanence of Zionist Israel), the Saudi crown prince has discovered that “there are a lot of interests we share with Israel.”
Operating on the motto that the enemies of our enemies must be our friends, the Zionist Israelis have become “good Jews” in the eyes of the present aspiring Saudi leader. Also, the Saudis have become “good Arabs” in the eyes of the Zionists. Both now intrigue together against their common enemies.
Part III – The Odd Couple

 

The Saudis and the Israelis no doubt make an odd couple. However, there are, if you will, inborn similarities. For instance:
— Both Israel and Saudi Arabia assert that they are “chosen people” and therefore nations blessed by their “one true God.” In both cases this assertion has led to a claim that the territory they control is “holy land” – divinely granted to them. 
 

— Also, in both cases, the religious leadership of society exercises guiding influence over many internal policies.
— As a consequence, both the Saudis and the Israelis run their respective countries like restricted clubs. One demands that you be Jewish to have membership rights, and the other wants you to be a Wahhabi Sunni Muslim. Outsiders claiming equal club rights (here read citizenship) are going to be restricted, persecuted or just expelled. And, of course, in both cases minority groups do claim such rights: in Israel it is the Palestinians and in Saudi Arabia it is the Shiite population of the eastern Arabian peninsula.
Part IV – Conclusion
Looked at objectively, both Saudi Arabia and Israel should be anachronisms. Two nations making outrageous, unprovable claims of divine right that in turn excuses undemocratic, racist-like behavior and policies. And the United States, which also sees itself as God-blessed, readily backs them both.
What this suggests is that, even amidst an increasingly high-tech culture, medieval thinking is still with us – deeply enough embedded to influence the thinking of millions, shape government policy and wage crusades. Glory be!

 

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

US whines about Iran`s missiles, pours arms into Mideast: Zarif

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed the United States’ “sheer hypocrisy” for seeking to stop Iran’s defensive missile program while flooding the Middle East region with all kinds of weapons.

Taking to his official Twitter account on Monday, Zarif said the pressure put on Iran by the West to dismantle its missile program comes at a time when the US and major European countries encourage their allies in the Middle East to buy more weapons.

“Customer Service’ pledge by US/E3 arms producers: Buy our weapons & our governments will provide after-sales support by pressuring your neighbor to dismantle its defenses,” he said.

The Iranian top diplomat added that Washington and its European allies were whining about Iran’s defensive missile program while pouring hundreds of billions of dollars of arms into the region.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on December 14 appeared in a staged show in front of a large and charred tube that she claimed was “concrete evidence” that Iran was providing missiles to Yemeni forces fighting against Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression on their country.

Responding to Haley’s allegation, Iran’s UN mission categorically dismissed as “unfounded” her claim that a missile fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen was supplied by the Islamic Republic.

On November 4, a missile fired from Yemen targeted the King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, reaching the Saudi capital for the first time.

The Houthi movement, which has been fighting back a Saudi aggression, said it had fired the missile but the Riyadh regime was quick to point the finger at Iran.

Tehran rejected the allegations as “provocative and baseless,” saying the Yemenis had shown an “independent” reaction to the Saudi bombing campaign on their country.

The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in January dismissed the allegations leveled by the US and its allies about the Islamic Republic’s provision of missiles to Yemeni forces.

“Missiles fired at Saudi Arabia belong to Yemen which have been overhauled and their range have been increased,” Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said.

Later in February, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi once again rejected the missile allegations against the Islamic Republic, saying such claims are lies and a foolish scenario.

“Iran’s missile program is for defensive and deterrent [purposes] and claims about the dispatch of missiles to Yemen despite the all-out blockade on this country are lies and a foolish scenario designed to exonerate the aggressors,” Qassemi said.

About 14,000 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

Washington admits

Washington admits

مارس 12, 2018

Nasser Kandil wrote:     Washington admits

  • Two important admissions have been issued by Washington; one is published by the British Guardian. It is related to the American interference to stop the prosecution of the former Saudi intelligence official Bandar Bin Sultan in the charges of corruption in Al Yamama deal with Britain which cost approximately $ 60 billion dollars and his commission exceeded $2 billion. Bandr destroyed the region and sabotaged it in favor of the Americans. He was among those who were detained in the Ritz Hotel, they were arrested by the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and they assigned some their wealth to him.
  • The second admission issued by the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood before the Armed Services Committee in the US Senate about the inability of the American missile defense to repel the new Chinese and Russian missiles which he said that he has already information about them and that they form a threat and their confrontation was not noticeable in his ministry’s plans previously, and that such of this confession is present in the new US defense strategy.
  • The real reason for the second US recognition is that Washinton was betting on winning the wars by strife and terrorism, it has spent money, weapons, efforts, and time. Bandar Bin Sultan was the symbol of this stage. Now the scandals are chasing him and posing a question about the involvement of the US officials with him in the commissions that led to such interest in stopping the prosecution. Washington’s experience with those who offered it the most important services proved that it is not faithful in order to express that US zeal.
  • While the US officials were preoccupied with killing and commissions of arms deals, the Russians were developing their weapons and policies.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

كتب ناصر قنديل  واشنطن تعترف كتب ناصر قنديل

  • إعترافان هامان صدرا عن واشنطن واحد نقلته الغارديان البريطانية يتصل بكشف التدخل الأميركي لوقف ملاحقة مسؤول المخابرات السعودي السابق بندربن سلطان من تهم فساد في صفقة اليمامة مع بريطانيا التي بلغت قيمتها قرابة ستين مليار دولار وفاقت عمولته منها ملياري دولار وبندر هو الذي دمر المنطقة وخربها لحساب الأميركيين وقد كان بين محتجزي الريتز الذين ساقهم ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان وتنازلوا له عن يعض ثرواتهم

الإعتراف الثاني ساقه نائب وزير الدفاع الأميركي جون رود أمام لجنة القوات المسلحة  في مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي حول عجز الدفاع الصاروخي الأميركي عن صد الصواريخ الروسية والصينية الجديدة التي قال أن لديه معلومات سابقة عنها وأن تهديدها صحيح وأن مواجهتها لم تكن ملحوظة في خطط وزارته سابقا وأن هذا الإعتراف وارد في الإستراتيجية الدفاعية الأميركية الجديدة ويشكل مبررها

السبب الحقيقي للإعتراف الأميركي الثاني بالعجز هو أن واشنطن كانت تراهن على ربح الحروب بالفتن والإرهاب وأنفقت مالا وسلاحا وجهودا ووقتا وكان بندر بن سلطان رمز هذه المرحلة وها هي الفضائح تلاحقه وتطرح السؤال حول مدى تورط مسؤولين أميركيين معه في العمولات تسببت بالإهتمام بوقف الملاحقة وتاريخ واشنطن مع من قدم لها خدمات أهم لا يقدم سجلا للوفاء ليكفي لتفسير الحمية الأميركية ؟

تلهى المسؤولون الأميركيون بالقتل والعمولات من صفقات السلاح وطور الروس أسلحتهم وسياساتهم

Bir Abed Massacre: The Failed Assassination Attempt…The Assassin

Amir Qanso

11-03-2013 | 08:06

It is Bir Abed, a neighborhood in the Southern Suburb of Beirut. There, life is normal, and children have just planted a tree. They want to say, “You kill, we sow life.” The tree is to eternize the memory of martyrs who fell three decades ago. 

Sayyed Fadlallah

Locals seek to give a lasting flame to this memory because they want to prove that what happened that day deeply touched them. Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah is now in the heavens. But the criminal is still at large and unaccused. Maybe this is what they want. Chastisement for the culprit.

On Friday, March 8, 1985, devout have just performed their Friday prayers at Imam Ali Reda Mosque in Bir Abed. They headed to their homes, shops, work…Women, who prayed after men, had no idea the monster of killing was stalking them, so that they would not return to their home and families.

The big bang that targeted late Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in person sought to take vengeance on this resisting Imam, always braced for facing the schemes of the US and its Arab and local subordinates. He was the target, but God’s will was different.

The Sayyed survived, thanks to the Almighty, and to the blessing of one faithful woman who insisted on addressing a last minute question to him. Thanks to her, time ran late. The Sayyed did not make it on time to the very place he, along passengers, was set to be massacred.

Surviving witnesses relate that the remains of men and women who fell in the blast have mixed with iron and concrete pieces. The striking force of the explosion even threw a passenger to beyond the barracks and checkpoints belligerent militias set between East and West Beirut.

One woman, who miraculously survived after her body was still alive when she was mistakenly put in a corps fridge at a local hospital, tells how she saw death in her bare eyes and how it all turned into hell all of a sudden.

Who was behind the massacre?

Bir Abed Massacre

He who executed that appalling crime on the ground immediately received his punishment. But there are still impune criminals. They are still free at large. Nonetheless, this is no surprise; the US intelligence service and the affiliated rings were the side that plotted, recruited, and supervised the execution against targets in favor of US political and security agenda. Besides, the US administration was not far from making reprisals for the attacks against the US marines when they invaded Beirut in the early ’80s. The second conniver was an Arab security apparatus, which took charge of providing an open financial credit, to hold back the ascending political rise of Shias on the Lebanese scene and to get rid of an eminent symbol, Sayyed Fadlallah.

This is how the US security interests and Arab’s converged and provided what was required to execute the crime from A to Z.

This is not a gist of the imagination of a writer who lived back then and met many eyewitnesses and survivals. Killing was not alone the aim, but rather Sayyed Fadlallah was. This is why his survive was the outcome of executors, planners, and funders’ fiasco.

In a special episode from the famous “Lebanon War” documentary made and broadcast by al-Jazeera channel, Omar Issawi said that Iran’s foes retaliated with a destructive explosion in Bir Abed, mostly populated by Shias.

He said that the explosion targeted Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadallah, a Shia religious man whom media outlets have called “Hizbullah’s spiritual leader,” albeit he denied any official link to the party. “Fadlallah survived the blast, which martyred more than 80 people and wounded nearly two hundreds.”

Until here, the narration is simple. But the riddle that remained lowlighted and unraveled was the identity of “Iran’s foes” who executed that crime.

In that very show, Issawi relays a taped testimony of the late scholar, hereby saying,

“I was about to leave the Mosque, when a woman of our acquaintance came to me and asked me to answer some of her questions and listen to problems she wanted to tell me. I refused because I was extremely fatigued, but she insisted. So I talked to her. As we were speaking, a huge explosion blew up. If I were at that moment at…if I did not respond to that woman, I would have been at the very place of the explosion. By chance, a car similar to mine came to the place. Criminals thought it was mine. Some local radio stations even reported that I was beneath the wrecks. I said that death is our habit, and that martyrdom for the sake of God was our dignity. When they scared us with death, we would not be scared, if death was for the sake of the cause and the message.”

Bi Abed Massacre

This is how the late Sayyed told the story of his survival. But in the second part of the taped testimony, the Sayyed points at what can be called the real culprit:

“Some official sides which I do not wish to reveal tried to offer me about 17 or 27 million-I do not recall the exact amount-under the guise of aid to the orphans foundations’ projects I sponsor, through one Lebanese official who was not an official at the time.” Sayyed Fadlallah explained that the “donation” was set to be given without him signing any document, etc. “So I told the mediator, a Lebanese journalist who was present then and who is now in Lebanon and you can ask him, ‘I do not do in secret what I am ashamed to doing in public. I cannot say that I have taken money from a top official without telling people. I cannot do what I cannot tell people about.'”

Who is this businessman who came bribe Sayyed Fadallah to keep silent over the crime…again, Sayyed Fadlallh survived another crime this businessman was making.Image result for Rafic Hariri

That man was the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, accompanied by a Lebanese journalist who was close to Shias in Lebanon. This is what many, who were interested in Sayyed Fadallah’s words to Omar Issawi as unearthing a Saudi deal to keep the crime unexposed vs. the money, confirm.

This is also confirmation of what Bob Woodward, a Washington Post journalist, later wrote, saying the explosion was planned by the US Intelligence, funded by KSA, and executed by Lebanese. This was as well quoted by Omar Issawi in “Lebanon War.”

Bir Abed, 2013…here, a lot of people do not forget who once dared kill them. They do not want this assassin to disappear, for punishment

Source: Al-Ahed News, Translated and Edited by website team

Yemen, The Risks of Famine and Disease. New UN Humanitarian Response Plan Paints Dire Picture of Impact of US-UK-Saudi War

Source

By Stop Starving Yemen,

Extracts from the report‘s introduction (published 20th Jan 2018)

Yemenis are facing multiple crises, including armed conflict, displacement, risk of famine and disease outbreaks that have created the worst man-made humanitarian crisis. Some 75 per cent of the population – 22.2 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million people in acute need who urgently require immediate assistance to survive – an increase by one million since June 2017. Vulnerable populations in 107 out of 333 districts are facing heightened risk of famine and require integrated response efforts to avert a looming catastrophe

One of the world’s largest protection crises

Escalating conflict continues to inflict civilian casualties and cause extensive damage to public and private infrastructure. Half of the Yemeni population live in areas directly affected by conflict, many of whom are suffering from the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and other apparent violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). As of late December 2017, health facilities reported 9,245 conflict related deaths and over 52,807 injuries – meaning that an average of 60 people have been killed or injured every day in the past two and a half years. Given that only 50 per cent of health facilities remain functional, and acknowledging the limited reporting capacity across the country, this number is significantly underreported. Over three million people have been forced to flee from their homes since the escalation of conflict two and a half years ago, including 2 million who remain displaced. The intensification of the conflict since November has resulted in alarming levels of civilian impact including high level of casualties and additional displacements.

Collapse of basic services and institutions

Essential basic services and the institutions that provide them are at the brink of total collapse. Conflict, economic decline and subsequent disruption of operational budgets and salary payments in public sector institutions have contributed to this collapse. In this situation, Yemen is increasingly becoming susceptible to disease outbreaks: crippled public health and WASH systems contributed to the unprecedented scale of the 2017 cholera outbreak, which is followed by a rapidly spreading suspected diphtheria outbreak attributed to low vaccination coverage. Only half of all health facilities are functioning, and even these face severe shortages in medicines, equipment, and staff. Similarly, some 16 million people lack adequate access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, which is attributed to the physical damage to infrastructure [largely caused by airstrikes], lack of resources (including fuel)[largely caused by the blockade] , and suspension of salaries [imposed by the Saudi-led coalition-supported ‘government’ of President Hadi]. The deficit has also hampered agriculture extension and veterinary services with an estimated 90 per cent of animal health facilities either fully closed or functioning below their capacity due to non-payment of salaries and lack of operating budget. The system is increasingly depending on humanitarian aid stretching beyond its scope and remit to continue to provide minimum basic assistance, which cannot, however, compensate for collapsing systems.

Import Restrictions

Before the escalation of the crisis, Yemen imported 80-90 per cent of its staple foods and required an estimated 544,000 metric tons of imported fuel per month for transportation and powering water-systems and health facilities, among other activities. Even before the imposition of complete and partial closure of ports through the final months of 2017, fluctuating restrictions on imports, damaged port infrastructure, insurance and banking hurdles, security risks and high transport costs were key factors negatively affecting imports and distribution of critical goods across Yemen. Damaged port infrastructure has further undermined the ability to import key commodities including food, fuel, and medical supplies at the scale required. Al Hudaydah port, which accounts for 70-80 per cent of commercial imports in Yemen, remains a critical lifeline, despite operating at reduced capacity after being hit by an airstrike in August 2015. The extended blockade imposed on Al Hudaydah and Salif ports on 6 November 2017 significantly threatened this lifeline of Yemenis. In the aftermath of the closure of these supply routes, prices of basic commodities significantly increased, further accelerating food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and the collapse of basic facilities. The Saudi-led Coalition (SLC) announced a 30-day opening of Al Hudaydah and Salif ports to commercial imports on 20 December 2017, but only a sustained flow of imports of essential basic goods can avert further catastrophe.

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