Yemen conflict: The view from the Saudi side

BBC article by Frank Gardner

Tall, bearded and wearing a pained expression, an elderly Saudi man called Jaber stands before the ruins of his family house in the town of Najran, just north of the border with war-torn Yemen.

The whitewashed walls of his house are pockmarked with blast marks and jagged holes gouged by flying shrapnel.

"Yesterday at 5.15 in the afternoon," he told me, "came an explosion from Yemen. My family were sitting just over there," he pointed to an abandoned mattress on the ground.

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One woman's lonely struggle against famine in Yemen

BBC article by Nawal al-Maghafi

After two years of war in Yemen and a Saudi-led blockade lasting 18 months millions of people are slowly starving - some are already dying for lack of food. One doctor in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah is doing all she can to save them.

In her 20 years as a doctor Ashwaq Muharram has never seen things so bad.

"I'm seeing the same thing I used to watch on TV when the famine unfolded in Somalia," she tells me. "I never thought I would see this in Yemen."

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Watch Starving Yemen on Our World at 21:30 BST, Saturday 24 September on the BBC News Channel - in the UK, you can catch up later on the BBC iPlayer

Watch it here (available until 25 October 2016)

Yemen: On the brink of starvation - BBC News

BBC news video by Nawal al-Maghafi

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MPs call for UK to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia

BBC News article

The UK should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia while Saudi actions in neighbouring Yemen are investigated, a draft report by MPs has said.

The Committees on Arms Export Controls said it was highly likely that weapons had been used to violate international humanitarian and human rights laws.

The draft report has been seen by the BBC's Newsnight programme.

The UK government said it had received assurances from Saudi Arabia but the committee said this was not sufficient.

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SNP's Angus Robertson seeks meeting with David Cameron over Yemen

Angus Robertson, the SNP's leader at Westminster, has requested a meeting with David Cameron to discuss the ongoing crisis in Yemen.

He has urged the prime minister to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia claiming the weapons are being used in its military campaign in the neighbouring country.

Mr Robertson said the situation meant the UK was "effectively at war".

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Angus Robertson: 'Britain effectively at war in Yemen'

PMQs: Robertson and Cameron on Yemen

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, said thousands of civilians were being killed in Yemen including by the Saudi air force.

Mr Robertson said this was happening using British-built planes, with pilots trained by British instructors and bombs “co-ordinated with the help of British advisers”, suggesting the UK was already effectively involved in a war in Yemen.

David Cameron said the UK was not a member of the Saudi-led coalition, its military personnel were not directly involved and that the UK was “not involved in the Saudi targeting decision making process”.

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Inside the shattered city of Taiz, Yemen

BBC iPlayer Radio report:

Yemen is already one of the poorest nations in the Arab world. Now things have gone from bad to worse, since the start of an uprising launched by the Houthi rebel group. A Saudi-led coalition has gone to war against the rebels. Since March 2015, more than 6,000 people have died. The country's basic infrastructure is shattered, its economy is almost non-existent and at least 80% of the population is dependent on food aid. Safa Al Ahmad has travelled to the besieged Yemeni city of Taiz.

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Yemen crisis: peace talks to resume on 14 January

BBC News:

Peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen have broken up in Switzerland without agreement.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the talks will resume on 14 January at an as yet undecided location.
He said some progress had been made, but that violations of a temporary ceasefire had caused problems.

Fierce fighting has continued in the north of Yemen between Houthi rebels and forces backing the government.

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Yemen Crisis: How bad is the humanitarian situation?

BBC News article:

UN officials have warned that the already desperate humanitarian situation in Yemen has severely deteriorated over the last eight months. How bad is it?

The country is experiencing 'a humanitarian catastrophe'. That was the frank assessment of the UN's Humanitarian Co-ordinator, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, on 19 August.

The UN said on 12 November that at least 5,878 people had been killed and 27,867 others had been wounded since the escalation in March of the conflict between forces loyal to the exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

The destruction of infrastructure and restrictions on imports imposed by a Saudi-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the rebels have led to 21.2 million people being deprived of life-sustaining commodities and basic services.

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Meeting the Houthis - and their enemies

By Safa Al-Ahmad for the BBC

Last September, thousands of fighters from northern Yemen seized control of the country's capital, Sanaa. The government was weak, its army fractured, and the rebels - called the Houthis - took the city in only four days.

The secretive Houthi movement was always a mystery to me.

I went to Yemen to follow them, to understand where they came from and what they want since they have suddenly become the most powerful people in Yemen.

I discovered a divided country. The Houthis who belong to the Zaidi sect- an offshoot of Shia Islam, still control the capital, but face a determined alliance of al-Qaeda and other Sunni militants further south.

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