Saudi-led forces fought the Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015.
(AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the Saudi Arabia called the end of the Yemen blockade immediately, citing humanitarian concerns.
“I was directed to call the officials in my administration to demand the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that they completely reach that food, fuel, water, and medicine, the Yemeni people, which they urgently need,” said Trump in a statement.
A Saudi-led coalition has struggled to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis — at one point allied with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh troops in Yemen in March 2015. The coalition is a blockade imposed on the country, with the goal of restoring the internationally recognized government of Saleh’s successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, killed by rebels
Saleh was killed on Monday by his former Houthi allies, after the change to switch loyalties in the bloody conflict.
Violent clashes in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in recent days have resulted in at least 125 deaths, according to aid groups. To say on Tuesday, the U. N. security Council warned, “the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen,” the country “is on the verge of a catastrophic famine.”
Global anti-poverty organization Oxfam praised Trump for the action, but urged him to do more to stop the bloodshed, including the call for a ceasefire and the termination of the sale of arms to the Saudi-led coalition.
“The past month, the escalation has killed thousands and condemning thousands more to die in the near future,” said Scott Paul, to lead humanitarian policy at Oxfam America, said in a statement. “Millions will die, in a historic famine, and the public health crisis, if President Trump’s call is not heeded.”
On Capitol Hill, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, met with Sen. Bob Corker in a previously scheduled meeting on Yemen. Corker, R-Tenn., the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said he was concern to butt in to share with the Ambassador “about what was happening on the ground in Yemen.”
“You obviously have to worry about the US support,” Corker said. “I said, ‘Look, I’m just being honest with you. I have numbers of senators come to me often with concerns about how Saudi Arabia is dealing with humanitarian issues in Yemen. You all need to know that. They are all hard to in this. Just know that it is of enormous concern.”‘
Yemen marked the war, over 10,000 civilians and displaced people, 3 million killed.