RIYADH – US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to secure a pause in Yemen’s war as he arrived in Saudi Arabia Wednesday for meeting with top officials, citing increased shortages of food, fuel and medicine that are adding to a crisis that already has neighboring countries
bracing for a mass exodus of refugees. He was to hold further talks Thursday, too.
At a news conference in Djibouti, a nearby African nation that he visited on his way to the kingdom, Kerry said the United States was deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian conditions in Yemen. He spoke just a boat trip away from the scene of the fighting, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels were pressing on with ground offensives and Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries were continuing their month-and-a-half long bombing campaign. Trapped in the middle are Yemeni civilians. Aid groups say they’re struggling to reach millions of people in need in what was the Arabian Peninsula’s most impoverished state even before the war. With no end to the violence in sight, agencies are doing contingency planning for a prolonged conflict that prompts well over 100,000 Yemenis fleeing for abroad.