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Riyadh Urges UN, Int'l Bodies to Leave Area of Military Operation in Yemen

Sputnik News

20:55 11.02.2016

UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other international organizations should leave war-torn Yemen, according to a letter sent by Saudi diplomatic missions.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Saudi Arabia has notified the United Nations and different international aid agencies operating in war-torn Yemen about the necessity to leave areas under rebels' control in order to avoid bombings, media reported Thursday.

According to VICE News international information portal, some Saudi diplomatic missions abroad sent earlier in February notification letters to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other international organizations working in Yemen.

'[OCHA should] notify all the international organizations working in Yemen about the necessity of relocating their headquarters outside the military operations areas to be away from regions where the Houthi militias and the groups belonging to them are activating, in order for the Coalition forces to guarantee the safety,' a letter reads, as quoted by VICE News.

According to the media outlet, OCHA Chief Stephen O'Brien responded that the humanitarian community would continue to deliver its life-saving assistance and urged Riyadh to adhere to the international law while conducting air operations in Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states began airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen at the request of President Hadi, causing hundreds of civilian casualties in the military campaign. According to the Yemeni Health Ministry, the bombardments of the coalition in the country have killed over 7,000 people and injured more than 16,500.

International human rights organizations previously reported about dozens of schools, mosques, hospitals and other civilian objects ruined by the Saudi-led coalition.

Sputnik



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