UN says war-torn Yemen 'living hell' for children

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"The worldwide community has a real opportunity to halt the senseless cycle of violence and to prevent an imminent catastrophe", Guterres said. The rocket was sacked from the rebels' stronghold of Saada in northern Yemen, he said in a statement.

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 officials spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. The war has pushed millions to the brink of starvation in the Arab world's poorest country.

The United States and Britain have called for an end to the war that has driven the impoverished country to the brink of starvation. In the course of this, he demanded an end to fighting, and an immediate halt to all airstrikes against populated areas.

"The time is now for a cessation of hostilities", Pompeo said.

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Earlier this week, Defense Secretary James Mattis called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen. "Today not more than 40 percent of the children throughout Yemen are being vaccinated", he said.

The U.S. call comes almost a month after the slaying of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Consulate in Turkey causing worldwide outrage against the Saudis.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The U.S. has sold billions of dollars' worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and provides logistical and other support to the coalition, while the coalition, which backs the exiled government, accuses the Houthis of acting as Iran's proxy. The rebels pushed the internationally recognized government out of the country.

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The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced 3 million others, according to United Nations aid agencies.

Fighting was focused around the airport, which the coalition failed to seize in a previous offensive, and also at the eastern entrance to the city and near a university that lies 4 km south of the port, which handles most of Yemen's imports.

The Saudi-led military campaign has drawn criticism from the United Nations over widespread civilian casualties, and helped push Yemen to the brink of starvation.

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