Kerry seeks pause in Yemen war as he arrives in Saudi Arabia

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 6, 2015 at 1:31 p.m.



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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia, with hopes of arranging a pause in the war in Yemen.

Kerry is pointing to increasing shortages of food, fuel and medicine that are adding to a crisis in that country. Neighboring countries are already bracing for a flood of refugees.

Speaking to reporters in Djibouti before heading to Saudi Arabia, Kerry said the United States is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian conditions in Yemen.

Houthi (HOO'-thee) rebels backed by Iran are continuing with ground offensives there, as Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries are continuing a bombing campaign that began a month and a-half ago. Security officials say the strikes today killed dozens of rebels.

Yemeni civilians are trapped in the middle. Aid groups say they are struggling to reach millions of people, in a country that was the poorest in the Arabian peninsula even before the war.

Kerry's visit to Saudi Arabia comes as rebels and their allies in Yemen consolidate their hold over parts of the southern port city of Aden (AY'-duhn).

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APPHOTO AHM103: People visit a man who was injured during a recent clashes between tribal fighters who support the Saudi-led campaign and Shiite rebels, at his home in Taiz, Yemen, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The U.N. human rights office has said hundreds of civilians have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since the airstrikes began March 26. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government in exile in Saudi Arabia puts the civilian death toll at least 1,000. At least 300,000 Yemenis have been displaced. (AP Photo/Abdulnasser Alseddik) (6 May 2015)

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APPHOTO AHM101: A boy carries a bag of sugar to his family during a food distribution by Yemeni volunteers in Taiz, Yemen, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The U.N. human rights office has said hundreds of civilians have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since the airstrikes began March 26. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government in exile in Saudi Arabia puts the civilian death toll at least 1,000. At least 300,000 Yemenis have been displaced. (AP Photo/Abdulnasser Alseddik) (6 May 2015)

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APPHOTO SAUH102: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at Riyadh Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, traveling from Djibouti, Djibouti, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, to push Saudi officials for a pause in Yemen's war, 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. Kerry is also visiting Sri Lanka, Somalia, France, and Djibouti on his trip. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) (6 May 2015)

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