UN Security Council calls on all sides in Yemen to 'de-escalate'

Supporters of Shiite Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sanaa Yemen following the killing of ex President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Supporters of Shiite Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sanaa Yemen following the killing of ex President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen's civil war, pitting the Iran-allied Houthis who control Sana'a against a Saudi-led military alliance backing a government based in the south, has led to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with the United Nations warning of a potential starvation that could threaten the lives of millions.

"But the journalists refused to do it", the official said.

"People are reporting that there are many arrests and they are trying to shoot military men and (Saleh party) members".

"(But) one thing I think I can say with a lot of concern and probably likelihood is that the situation for the innocent people there, the humanitarian side, is most likely to (get) worse in the short term", Mattis said. That helped propel Yemen into the ruinous civil war that has spread hunger and disease among its 28 million people.

The UN secretary-general's special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called on all parties to show restraint.

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Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Tuesday as saying that Saudi Arabia, "on behalf of the US and the Zionist regime (Israel), has a very important role in creating insecurity" in the Middle East.

Speaking before a gathering of supporters, al-Houthi says: "We knew that they were deceived. we hadn't hoped for what happened".

Jamie McGoldrick, of United Nations aid agency OCHA, said civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs. McGoldrick spoke to reporters in Geneva by phone on Tuesday from the Yemeni capital.

On Wednesday, several dozen women gathered in a main Sanaa square holding Saleh's portrait and demanding his body be handed over for burial, but they were forcibly dispersed by Houthi security forces, eyewitnesses said.

Clashes erupted between Saleh's forces and the Houthis last week.

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It's not clear how many civilians are among the dead. A Saudi-led coalition, which has been at war with the rebels since March 2015, threw its support behind Saleh and launched a blistering wave of airstrikes on Sanaa. Air strikes also hit northern provinces including Taiz, Hajjah, Midi and Saada, it said.

Saleh's body, which had appeared in a video by the militias with a gaping head wound, was taken to a rebel-controlled military hospital.

The 75-year-old strongman announced he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia and its allies on condition they ended their crippling blockade on Yemen's ports and airports - dealing a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with the Iran-backed Houthis.

The Houthis and Saleh's forces began fighting each other in Sanaa last week.

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