Trump asks Saudis to lift blockade of Yemen for humanitarian aid

Trump asks Saudis to lift blockade of Yemen for humanitarian aid

Trump asks Saudis to lift blockade of Yemen for humanitarian aid

President Trump on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach the people of Yemen, in a statement that reflected the growing alarm of relief agencies and amounted to an unusually harsh public scolding one of his administration's closest allies.

"This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately", Trump said in a statement, adding that the Yemeni people "desperately" need medicine, food, water and fuel.

Seven million people are believed to be on the brink of starvation and a cholera outbreak has caused more than 2,000 deaths.

The Saudi-led coalition had imposed a blockade on the country last month after Houthi rebels fired a missile on the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Mr Saleh was killed earlier this week after moving to switch allegiances in the bloody conflict, making the situation in the country unpredictable according to experts.

Saleh was killed at the hands of Huthi rebels Monday and clashes over the past week have seen streets blockaded by warring factions and the setting up of checkpoints.

Since the air strikes began, at least 10,000 people have died as a result and 40,000 have been wounded, Al Jazeera reported.

Saleh's death occurred days after he publicly broke off his wartime alliance with the Houthis while indicating he was open to negotiations with the Saudi-led coalition. US-backed Saudi coalition forces renewed their attacks on Sanaa in order to back up Saleh's supporters.

In Sanaa on Wednesday, residents said they were finally able to leave their houses and search for basic provisions with the city now in Huthi hands. I've got numbers of senators coming up to me often with concerns about how Saudi is dealing with humanitarian concerns in Yemen.

"President Trump rightly called out Saudi Arabia for maintaining its cruel blockade and denying essential supplies from getting to the millions of Yemeni men, women and children in need", said Sarah Margon, Washington director of Human Rights Watch.

"We're living in a state of fear. Millions will die in a historic starvation and public health crisis if President Trump's call is not heeded", Paul said in a statement. The move comes a day after the United Nations called for a ceasefire.

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