Friday, June 19, 2015

Air strikes hit elite Yemen forces as Geneva truce talks break off; WHO confirms dengue fever outbreak in Yemen

SANAA/GENEVA (Reuters) - Saudi-led warplanes bombed elite Republican Guard forces allied with the dominant Houthi faction in Yemen's conflict on Friday, residents said, and U.N.-sponsored ceasefire talks broke off without a deal to end nearly three months of fighting.

More than 2,600 people have been killed since an Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes to try to stop the Iranian-backed Houthis from completing a takeover of Yemen and to try to reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Residents said they heard three air raids on the al-Sawad camp, in a southern suburb of the capital Sanaa where the command of the Republican Guards allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis is based, early on Friday.

(The Guardian) The United Nations has launched a renewed appeal for $1.6bn in funds to help civilians in Yemen, as the World Health Organisation confirmed an outbreak of dengue fever in the Arab world’s poorest country, where a growing humanitarian crisis is spiralling out of control and a massive aid pledge by Saudi Arabia has failed to materialise.

Yemen is reeling from the effects of a blockade imposed by a Saudi-led coalition, which launched an aerial campaign in March to stem the advance of Houthi rebels allied with Iran.

The blockade has led to severe fuel, water and medicine shortages in Yemen, where the UN believes 21 million people, or 80% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Stephen O’Brien, UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, launched the revised funding appeal, telling donors a “looming catastrophe” was in the making.

How come nobody sends a 'Peace Flotilla' there?