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GENEVA, 14 Jun 2018 [Fik/News Sources]: The UN on Wednesday warned against military confrontation in Yemen’s Al-Hudaydah.
"I am extremely concerned about the military developments in Hudaydah. Further military escalation will have serious consequences […] and will have an impact on my efforts to resume political negotiations to reach an inclusive political settlement to the conflict in Yemen," said Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen on the situation in Hudaydah.
Calling the sides to exercise restraint, Griffiths said: "I call on the parties to engage constructively with our efforts to spare Hudaydah any military confrontation."
"We continue to use every opportunity to avoid military confrontation in Hudaydah," he added.
The Saudi-led coalition forces on Wednesday launched a major military operation to recapture Yemeni port of Al-Hudaydah from Shia Houthi rebels.
Al-Hudaydah port is a vital supply line of humanitarian aid to Yemen.
Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times”.