Sanaa airport, Hodeida port to reopen Thursday

Aid agencies say Yemen blockade remains Egeland calls it “collective punishment”

The U.S. -backed coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Wednesday it would allow aid in through the port of Hodeidah, as well as United Nations flights to the capital Sanaa, more than two weeks after blockading the country.

It added the decision would take effect from November 23, Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia has said then that help can go through "liberated ports" but not Houthi-controlled Hodeiadh, the channel for the enormous bulk of imports into Yemen.

Earlier, the coalition said in a statement that Iran was to blame for a recent Yemeni missile strike on Riyadh, which Iran dismissed categorically.

Ships were ordered to leave the Red Sea ports of Hodeida and Salef, the only lifeline to northern Yemen where most of the population lives. "If that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".

The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said here Thursday that the Islamic republic provides "advisory assistance" for Yemeni Shiite Houthi militants, Tasnim news agency reported.

On Wednesday, two flights landed in Sanaa airport for the first time.

Global aid groups describe Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis as millions are at risk of starvation. The missile was struck down but it was the farthest a projectile by the rebels, also known as Houthis, had penetrated into the kingdom. Some 7 million people are estimated to rely on food aid and 4 million on fuel needed for pumping clean water.

It's been over two weeks since the Saud-led coalition imposed the closure of all sea, air, and land ports in the Arab world's poorest country, in response to a missile assault by the Shiite rebels that targeted the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The U.N. and global aid agencies have repeatedly urged the coalition to lift the Yemen blockade.

The IRC condemned the global community, saying its silence "is a disgrace and is enabling what could be collective punishment".

Save the Children said that...

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