Yemen rebel fire kills three civilians in Saudi, coalition says

Somalian children migrants on the route to Aden

The UN's Yemen mediator, Martin Griffiths, has been holding talks with the Houthis to hand over control of the port to the United Nations, Yemeni political sources have said.

The following year, Saudi Arabia, together with several other Arab nations, launched a military campaign in support of Yemen's internationally recognised government aiming to roll back advances made by Houthi rebels after they overran much of the country in 2014.

Burt said: "The UN special envoy has previously expressed concern that conflicts in Hodeidah could take peace off the table "in a single stroke".

The United Nations pulled all of its global staff out of Hodeida early Monday morning.

In a letter circulating in the House of Representatives and obtained by Al-Monitor, members of Congress "deeply alarmed" by the military action are asking US Defense Secretary Jim Mattisto dissuade Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from attacking.

A military attack or siege on the Houthi-held western city, long a target in the war, could cost up to 250,000 lives, a senior United Nations humanitarian official has warned.

The U.N. considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Pompeo said the United States is "closely following developments" in Hodeida, home to 600,000 people and the point of entry of 70 percent of Yemen's imports.

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Griffiths, who briefed the council by video conference from Amman, has revived a year-old plan to turn over Hodeida port to a neutral party, diplomats said.

Following the closed-door meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who is council president this month, called for de-escalation and said the top United Nations body would be "closely" following developments.

"We are, at the present moment, in intense consultation", Guterres told reporters on Monday.

A US-backed, Saudi-led military coalition is fighting against the Houthis on behalf of the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, who lives in exile in Riyadh.

Mark Lowcock, the head of the UN's office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the consequences of the suspension of operations at the port of Hudeida would be "catastrophic".

"If an attack does take place, casualties on all sides will be high with a likely catastrophic impact on the civilian population", they wrote.

More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since the war began, tens of thousands have been wounded, and another two million people have been displaced.

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with Yemen's Shi'ite Houthi rebels since March 2015. It has damaged Yemen's infrastructure, crippled its health system and pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of starvation.

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