SANA’A (Dispatches) – Tens of thousands of people staged rallies across Yemen on Friday in protest the Saudi regime’s atrocities and its blockade and closure of Sana’a International Airport.
Protesters flooded the streets in the Damt district of the southern Yemeni province of Dhale in a rally entitled "The Siege of the Coalition of Aggression is Killing Yemeni People.”
They chanted slogans against the United States and the Zionist regime for supporting the Saudi blockade of war-wracked Yemen, which have made it impossible for food and medical supplies to reach the poor in the war-torn country.
People in southeastern province of Dhamar, central province of al-Bayda, the northern province of al-Jawf as well as the southwestern province of Ibb, as well as western port city of Hudaydah and the northern province of Hajjah held rallies.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.
The United Nations says Yemen has the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of the people in need of help.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has urged Persian Gulf Arab states to donate more money to avert a large-scale "man-made” famine in Yemen.
Lowcock said on Wednesday that the world body had managed to prevent famine in the period 2018-2019 due to a well-funded aid appeal, warning that the world would be witnessing the worst famine in decades in case a sum of $3.85 billion the UN needs is not raised at a virtual pledging conference on Monday.
"What is alarming and what is different about the situation we’re in now is that there’s been such a big drop off in support for the aid operation that we’ve been cutting aid to starving people - not in an isolated way, in a way that affects millions of people all over the country,” he pointed out.
Lowcock went on to say that the United Nations in 2020 only received just over half the $3.4 billion it needed, saying it was largely because of smaller contributions from Persian Gulf countries.
Earlier this week, Lowcock said some 16 million people in Yemen are going hungry and five million of those people are "just one step away from famine.”
Some 400,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished, he said.
"Those children are in their last weeks and months,” he warned. "They are starving to death.”
In another development, Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees launched a missile strike on Thursday against a position of Saudi-led militants in Yemen’s strategic central province of Ma’rib, killing and wounding scores of them.
Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Lebanon-based and Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network that the missile struck with precision a gathering of Saudi-led military commanders and officers in the so-called Third Military Region of Ma’rib.
The sources added that a number of senior Saudi-led mercenaries were killed and wounded as a result.
Earlier in the day, an unnamed source said the Yemeni military forces and Popular Committees fighters repelled an attack by Saudi-backed militants loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against al-Zour area in the Sirwah district.
The source noted that a number of military vehicles belonging to Hadi loyalists and Saudi-led militants were destroyed, adding that several pro-Hadi militants and Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured as well.