The UN secretary-general has said that two weeks of Saudi-led air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the rebels’ advances “have turned an internal political crisis into a violent conflict that risks deep and long-lasting regional repercussions”.
Ban Ki-moon on Thursday told reporters that he was urging all countries in the region to go beyond national priorities and help the Yemeni people, saying “the last thing the region and our world need is more of the chaos and crimes we have seen in Libya and Syria”.
He has called on all parties to the conflict to allow the delivery of badly needed aid, after the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that at least 643 civilians and combatants have been killed, and 2,200 injured.
Tens of thousands of families have also been displaced and the WHO has warned that the situation in the Arabian Peninsula nation is critical. Ban says UN-led talks are the best solution.
The United States defence secretary has said that the escalated conflict has provided al-Qaeda with an “opportunity” to gain new territory in Yemen. This is despite confirmation from the US that it is expediting advanced arms shipments to Saudi Arabia.