Saudi vows to cover UN's Yemen aid call
Saudi Arabia yesterday pledged to cover the entire $274 million in humanitarian aid sought by the UN for conflict-torn Yemen, which has also been the target of Saudi-led air strikes against Shiite rebels.
The United Nations says hundreds of people have died and thousands of families fled their homes in the war, which has also killed six Saudi security personnel in border skirmishes.
At least 27 more people died in the southwestern city of Taez during overnight clashes between loyalist forces and the Iran-backed Shia Huthi rebels as well as Saudi-led coalition air raids, medical sources said.
Saudi King Salman ordered the humanitarian pledge following a United Nations appeal on Friday for $274 million in emergency assistance for the millions affected by Yemen's war.
The kingdom "stands with its Yemeni brothers" and hopes for "the restoration of security and stability," the state Saudi Press Agency said, quoting an official statement.
The coalition began its campaign after Saudi Arabia feared the Huthis, allied with army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, would shift Yemen into the orbit of Shia Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia's regional rival.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani yesterday said that his country's military should not be seen as a threat in the Middle East. On Friday, Iran submitted a four-point Yemen peace plan to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
It calls for a ceasefire and immediate end to all foreign military attacks, the urgent delivery of humanitarian and medical aid, a resumption of political talks and the formation of a national unity government.
The World Health Organization, in its latest toll, said 767 people have died in Yemen's war since March 19 and more than 2,900 were wounded. The majority have been civilians.