Yemeni govt commits to peace effort as coalition stays silent

A scene at the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

The UN chief spoke hours after the Saudi-led coalition said it had attacked an airbase in the capital, Sana'a, and fighting flared between the Houthis and the Saudi-led forces near the western port city of al-Hudaydah.

On Friday, the coalition said it had attacked ballistic missile and drone sites at the worldwide airport of the Yemeni capital. He added that the adjoining Sanaa global airport was still open to air traffic from the United Nations and other relief agencies.

Calling the attacked structures "legitimate military targets", Col Al Malki said he would provide evidence of violations by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels later on Friday.

Nebenzia said United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is "working on a peace plan that might bring the parties together and finally finish this useless conflict" and Russian Federation wants to hear from him "on new avenues that he's exploring".

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Pompeo also said the U.S. was also embarking on a new push for peace in Yemen, where as many as 50,000 have died and the country has been plunged into a major humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the Riyadh-allied Hadi regime and crush the Houthis.

Geert Cappelaere also told The Associated Press in an interview from Yemen that a US call for a cease-fire is imperative to end the "brutal war".

A pro-government force backed by the United Arab Emirates said it had launched "a large-scale military operation to liberate and cleanse Hodeida" of the Huthi rebels.

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Mr. Cappelaere, who visited the war-torn Red Sea port city of Hodeida and the capital Sanaa over the past two days as clashes and airstrikes intensified, said both Yemeni government and Houthi rebel authorities are being uncooperative.

The Saudi-led coalition had not yet commented on the Houthis' statement.

While in Hodeida, the lifeline of the Houthi-controlled north, Mr. Cappelaere said he learned that families can't make it to the hospital because of constant fear of airstrikes and shelling or because they have no money to pay for transportation.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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Other rights groups estimate the toll could be five times higher.

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