Saudi-led coalition halts Hodeidah assault as West presses for Yemenceasefire

Yemen: Saudi-led coalition orders halt to Hodeidah offensive

As global concern rises over Yemen's fate, is progress finally being made toward peace?

Despite the defeat on Capitol Hill, the U.S.is still urging peace talks to move ahead and supporting U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, and this week, there were some important breakthroughs.

Sweden is preparing to host consultations when the parties "are ready to talk", said a source familiar with the matter.

What Happened: The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has chosen to halt its offensive on the strategically important port city of al-Hudaydah following repeated calls for a cease-fire from the kingdom's Western allies, Reuters reported November 15.

Humanitarian groups are warning that Yemen stands on the brink of starvation and that any intensification of recent fighting around Hodeidah - the port city through which 80 per cent of the country's food imports and aid supplies arrive - would risk a starvation.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said on Thursday the kingdom supports UN-led peace efforts.

"This shows that the humanitarian aid that comes to Yemen does not reach people who really need it. Distribution remains random", said his doctor, Amen al-Asli.

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Three military officials told the AFP news agency that pro-government forces were "ordered" to stop their assault against Houthi fighters until further notice, but would resume operations should the rebels attack.

"It is quieter now but the fighting continues", said local Ibrahim Seif.

The Houthis had planted explosives near two of the port's gates, one that leads to Jizan Road, a main street in the city's north, and the other near the Alsanabel flour mill company, they said.

Street fighting and airstrikes resumed late Tuesday in Hodeida despite a lull in battles as United Nations officials visited the Red Sea city to assess food security.

His death sparked a global outcry and exposed Saudi Arabia's crackdown on dissent and aggressive foreign policy, including its role in the war in Yemen, which human rights groups and USA lawmakers have criticized. Both Houthis and Iran denied the accusation.

The almost four-year-old conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and caused a humanitarian disaster that could potentially threaten millions of lives.

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