UN condemns attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

UN chief Antonio Guterres urges all parties to exercise restraint, deescalate, cease hostilities.

UN condemns attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday denounced attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen including Friday’s aerial attacks on civilian and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia by the Houthis and the subsequent Coalition airstrikes in Sana’a, reportedly killing eight civilians, including five children and two women," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

It noted that the airstrikes resulted in damage to the UN staff residential compound in Sanaa.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of ongoing airstrikes in Hudaydah city and the targeting of Hudaydah’s ports, which provide a critical humanitarian lifeline for the Yemeni population. The Secretary-General calls for a swift and transparent investigation into these incidents to ensure accountability," it said.

Noting that the conflict enters its eighth year, Guterres reiterated his calls for all parties to exercise maximum restraint, immediately deescalate, cease hostilities and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.

He urged all parties to engage constructively and without preconditions, with his special envoy to reduce violence and urgently reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility Friday for drone and missile attacks on Saudi energy facilities.

One attack targeted an oil storage facility of state oil company Aramco, causing a fire in two storage tanks.

Following the attacks, the Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation in Yemen, including rebel-held Sanaa and the Red Sea port city of al-Hudaydah.

The coalition said the operation aims to stop attacks on Saudi oil facilities and “protect global energy sources.”

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Houthis since 2015, one year after the Iran-aligned rebels overran much of Yemen, including Sanaa.

The eight-year conflict has created one of the world's worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% of the country, or about 30 million people, in need of humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million are in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.