Yemen's defence ministry says 250 Houthi rebels killed in Hodeidah battles

Omani Researcher Saudi War on Yemen three times worse than Holocaust

Omani Researcher Saudi War on Yemen three times worse than Holocaust

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies - who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies - launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Guterres, the United Nations chief, said there has been a recent "lull in the fighting" to allow for discussions and hopefully avoid a battle.

Hudaida lies some 230km away from the capital, Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis.

"Our message is clear. if this assault happens then it would be very hard to imagine how hard the situation the people in Yemen, particularly in Hodeidah, will be in", said Muhsin Siddiqui, country director of Oxfam.

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.

Guterres said his envoy Martin Griffiths was locked in "intense negotiations" with Yemen's rebel Huthis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to find a "way to avoid the military confrontation in Hodeida".

Saudi-led Arab coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the missile was sacked from Yemen's Saada region towards Saudi Arabia's Jazan. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hodeidah", Lowcock added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. was following developments in Yemen very closely, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced three million and unleashed the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab state which is struggling with a starvation and cholera epidemic, according to the United Nations.

"For now yes we can [assist people]", Mohamed Abdi, NRC country director for Yemen, told The Defense Post. United Nations staff operating out of the port ae already being withdrawn, anticipating the calamity to come.

Assistance provided by King Salman Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Aid (KSRelief) as part of the comprehensive humanitarian operations in Yemen have until Monday benefited 4,791,792 Yemeni citizens, he said.

He said in a statement that he had spoken with leaders of the United Arab Emirates and "made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".