Three killed in Saudi Arabia following Houthi missile attack

A Pro-government Yemeni soldier fires a machine gun near the city of Al Hajjah in Yemen's Hodeida province

The Security Council on Monday backed a high-stakes mission by a United Nations envoy to avert an attack by the Saudi-led coalition on a key port in Yemen that provides a lifeline for humanitarian aid.

Maintaining open corridors for the aid and avoiding a humanitarian crisis in a city inhabited by half a million people is the priority for Washington, he said.

A pro-government Yemeni soldier fires a machine-gun on June 7 near the city of al-Jah in Hodeida province, 50 kilometres from the port city of Hodeida, which the Houthi insurgents seized in 2014.

During his meeting with Yemen's new Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany, Mr Guterres stressed that "everyone should redouble efforts to find a political solution and avoid a fierce, bloody battle for Al Hodeidah", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Oxfam said the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) sent aid groups in Yemen warnings on Saturday evening for staff to evacuate the port city by Tuesday.

Malki also said that legitimate forces in Yemen are preparing to cut the Houthis' route of supplies towards Saada.

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Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jazan without causing casualties, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

But he urged them to support United Nations peace efforts.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed concern at the situation in Hudeida and called on all parties to "honour their commitments to working with the United Nations".

The United Nations fears that a battle in Hodeidah could be devastating for the estimated 600,000 people still living in the city. The U.N.is also pushing the militants to turn over arms in exchange for an end to the bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal.

Saudi Arabia launched a war against the Houthis in March 2015, after the rebels drove Yemen's internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa.

The Western diplomat said there were "a couple of last ditch attempts" to try to see whether there were any options to de-escalate, including a plan to "see some sort of a temporary ceasefire", but that would involve the Houthis putting their weapons down or potentially even moving out of the port.

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