Arab Times - - LOCAL -

The coali­tion ex­pressed hope in its state­ment that his ef­forts would lead to a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment, in­clud­ing an end to Houthi mis­sile at­tacks that have tar­geted Saudi cities and ves­sels off the port of Hodei­dah.

Mat­tis said all par­ties sup­port Grif­fiths’ ef­forts.

“The US and the Coali­tion are plan­ning to col­lab­o­rate on build­ing up le­git­i­mate Ye­meni forces to de­fend the Ye­meni peo­ple, se­cure their coun­try’s bor­ders, and con­trib­ute to counter alQaeda and ISIS ef­forts in Ye­men and the re­gion,” he said in a state­ment.

The last round of peace talks in Geneva in Septem­ber col­lapsed when the Houthis failed to show up, say­ing their del­e­ga­tion had been pre­vented from trav­el­ing. The Ye­meni govern­ment blamed the group for try­ing to sab­o­tage the talks.

Ye­meni govern­ment forces pressed fur­ther into the strate­gic port city of Hodei­dah, seiz­ing its main hospi­tal in heavy fight­ing Satur­day, as their Saudiled coali­tion back­ers put a brave face on an end to US re­fu­elling sup­port.

A loy­al­ist official said mor­tar rounds were “fall­ing like rain” in the streets as troops weath­ered rebel-laid mines and snipers to take con­trol of the main hospi­tal in the city of some 600,000 peo­ple.

The rebels have put up fierce re­sis­tance to the loy­al­ist ad­vance to­wards the city’s vi­tal docks, which are the point of en­try for 80 per­cent of Ye­men’s com­mer­cial im­ports and nearly all UN-su­per­vised hu­man­i­tar­ian aid.

The sus­pen­sion of US as­sis­tance to re-fuel coali­tion air­craft comes as Wash­ing­ton’s back­ing of the war ef­fort faces in­creased scru­tiny fol­low­ing in­ter­na­tional

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