The death toll in Saada has risen.. the US envoy to Yemen continues his Gulf tour and UNICEF calls for the protection of civilians

Diplomatic moves continue against the impact of the escalation in Yemen, as US envoy Timothy Lenderking held extensive talks in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, while the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed to the parties to the Yemeni conflict to protect civilians.

During his visit to Riyadh, the US envoy to Yemen met with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak. He also met with Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister, and Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber.

It was also announced that Lenderking would meet with the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf, and with the Norwegian envoy to Yemen Kjersti Tromsdale, who is currently in Riyadh.

Following the end of his talks in Riyadh, Lenderking held talks in Abu Dhabi with Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the President of the UAE, and he also met with the President of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidarous Al-Zubaidi.

Emirates News Agency reported that Linderking expressed the United States’ solidarity with the UAE in the face of what the agency called the Houthi terrorist attack, which targeted oil installations and a site at Abu Dhabi International Airport last Monday, and resulted in deaths.

High number of victims

On the other hand, Houthi media announced that the number of victims of the raid that hit a detention center in the northern Yemeni governorate of Saada has risen to 87, with 266 wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition denied targeting a detention center in Saada, and said it would brief the United Nations and the Red Cross on the facts and details.

The United Nations condemned the coalition raids and demanded prompt investigations into the attack.

For its part, the International Committee of the Red Cross said that facilities used for detention in Saada Governorate, Yemen, were attacked, killing and wounding more than 100 detainees.

The Committee expressed its deep concern over the intensification of hostilities over the past few days, including the attacks that targeted cities in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It also called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to spare the blood of civilians, and to preserve the facilities and infrastructure necessary for the survival of the population.

In the field developments, the Yemeni army said that dozens of Houthi militants were killed or wounded by army fire and coalition raids on the fighting fronts in Ma’rib Governorate. The media center of the Yemeni army stated that its artillery bombed Houthi sites and gatherings and destroyed 3 military vehicles.

For its part, the coalition announced the implementation of 8 operations against the Houthis in Marib during the last 24 hours.

On the other hand, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said that his forces repelled attacks on the group’s sites in the Ain District, west of Shabwa governorate, and destroyed military vehicles of the attacking forces. He added that the Houthis fired 4 ballistic missiles targeting the attacking forces’ positions.

Al-Houthi group had previously stated that coalition warplanes raided on Friday evening Sanaa airport and a communications center in Amran governorate.

American statements

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the escalation in Yemen – which has killed more than 100 people in recent days – is a source of great concern to his country.

In a statement, Blinken referred to the attack by coalition forces on the detention center, and called on all parties to de-escalate and commit to a peaceful diplomatic solution to end the conflict.

The US State Department said that Blinken had a call with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, in which he condemned the Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and also renewed his country’s commitment to helping Gulf partners improve their defense capabilities, stressing the importance of mitigating harm to civilians.

Protection of civilians

On the humanitarian front, UNICEF appealed to the parties to the Yemeni conflict and those who influence them to protect civilians and not to target populated areas.

A recent report by UNICEF stated that the escalation of violence had a severe impact on children, as the number of children killed since the beginning of this January reached 17.

The report added that children are the group paying the most for “the most brutal armed conflict in modern history”.

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