Yemen: ICRC deplores civilian cost of Hodeida attacks

The strikes hit a fish market and the entrance to a nearby hospital, eyewitnesses and medics said.

Britain's UN Ambassador Karen Pierce, the current council president, said after the meeting that "there was very strong support" for Griffiths and "we're united in his efforts to get the parties to Geneva".

Resolving the crisis over Hodeida would have to be part of a "comprehensive political settlement" between the rebels and the government, he said. The peace talks are also aimed at slowing the Saudi-led siege of the vital port city of Hodeidah.

At least 26 people were killed and dozens were wounded in air strikes blamed on the Saudi-led coalition near a hospital and popular fish market in the Yemeni city of Hudaida, Yemeni medical sources and aid agencies said on Thursday.

"These airstrikes are putting innocent civilians at extreme risk", Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement. Pro-government forces backed by the coalition were close to capturing the city before pausing the offensive last month to allow United Nations mediation efforts to continue.

The Houthis, a militant political movement based on the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, today controls the city and most of the country's densely populated north, including the capital of Sanaa.

The Arab Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen earlier accused the Houthi militias of carrying out the attacks.

Previous UN efforts to hold peace talks in Geneva to find a solution to the Yemeni conflict floundered on Houthi reluctance to withdraw from strategic cities, as well as it's resistance to sharing power.

"The scenes coming from Hodeida are horrific". The war has also left more than 40,000 people wounded, and displaced about 2 million. "Incidents in which civilians are killed or injured continue to be reported with alarming regularity", he said, calling all parties to "respect global humanitarian law, including the obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to take all feasible precautions to avoid and minimize incidental harm". "Everything we are trying to do to stem the world's worst cholera epidemic is at risk".

The disregard of global humanitarian law in Yemen can not be tolerated.

"What we have seen in Hodeidah; Saudi Arabia human rights violations and mass killings, is a heinous crime", Mutawakil said.

  • Rogelio Becker