The Houthis and Saudi military have confirmed that Yemen fired a Scud missile towards a Saudi air base early on Saturday. The Saudi military claims to have shot it down with Patriot missiles.
The Yemen Post newspaper reported that 47 died in air strikes on military bases on Sunday, whilst AFP reported 45 dead, among them 20 civilians. This marks a stepping-up of air strikes, after 38 people were killed on Saturday, according to Yemen’s official news agency, Saba. The news agency also reported that the strikes targeted “civil institutions, including educational and medical facilities”.
A report by The Guardian, meanwhile, indicates that Saudi Arabia is currently holding back the $274m it pledged to the UN emergency fund for Yemen. Figures by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs show that nearly 2,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the conflict, and about one million have been internally displaced.
The Yemen peace talks in Geneva, which were originally scheduled to start at the end of May, are now due to begin on 14 June, as stated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday. The talks had reportedly been postponed at the request of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s government and other major stakeholders. Hadi earlier stated he would not participate in negotiations before a UN resolution is implemented.
Since the beginning of air strikes in late March, the humanitarian situation in Yemen has quickly deteriorated, since the country heavily relies on imports, especially concerning food, medical supplies and fuel. Several hospitals are reportedly being shut down due to a lack of diesel fuel.