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Saudi-led coalition closes entry, exit in Yemen

The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the temporary closure of all air, sea and land ports in Yemen, two days after a missile was fired from the war-torn country towards the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The coalition’s statement, which did not specify how long these measures would remain in place, said access would be granted only to relief teams and aid organisations, Efe news agency reported.

It added that new procedures for inspections, entry and exit at Yemeni ports would be announced later, as well as the legal measures that would be taken against those who violate these guidelines.

The Saudi-led coalition urged diplomatic missions to stay away from areas that are not under the control of the internationally-recognized Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by Riyadh and its Arab allies.

Relief teams and humanitarian organisations as well as civilians were also urged to move away from combat zones and Houthi rebel-held areas.

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia accused Iran of supplying ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, calling it an act of military aggression.

In a statement, the coalition said that an analysis of the remains of the missiles that were launched Saturday against Riyadh confirmed they were made in Iran.

“The Coalition’s Command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” read the statement.

The Arab coalition’s military intervention in Yemen began in March 2015 in support of Hadi’s government and against the Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and large areas in the western part of the country.